Incretin hormones and insulin sensitivity

Trends Endocrinol Metab. May-Jun 2005;16(4):135-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2005.03.002.


Incretin hormones such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and the longer lasting analog exendin-4 show clinical promise for the treatment of diabetes because of glucoregulatory activities that enhance beta-cell function and growth, and actions in the central nervous system that induce satiety and decrease caloric intake. The actions of these peptides on insulin-responsive tissues is less clear, but recent advances indicate that chronic treatment with exendin-4 increases insulin sensitivity via two distinct mechanisms: one is attributable to changes in food intake and the subsequent improvements in glycemia; the second is largely independent of reductions in blood glucose. In addition, exendin-4 might also have direct effects on beta-cell neogenesis that are independent of insulin demand.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Exenatide
  • Glucagon / pharmacology*
  • Glucagon / therapeutic use
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology*
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Peptides / therapeutic use
  • Protein Precursors / pharmacology*
  • Protein Precursors / therapeutic use
  • Venoms / pharmacology*
  • Venoms / therapeutic use


  • Insulin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptides
  • Protein Precursors
  • Venoms
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon
  • Exenatide