Objective: To study the role of endogenous glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) on gastric emptying rates of a solid meal as well as postprandial hormone secretion and glucose disposal.
Material and methods: In nine healthy subjects, gastric emptying of a 310-kcal radio-labelled solid meal and plasma concentrations of insulin, glucagon and glucose were measured during infusion of saline or the GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin(9-39)amide (Ex(9-39)) at 300 pmol·kg(-1)·min(-1).
Results: Ex(9-39) infusion had no effect on the total gastric emptying curve, but changed the intra-gastric distribution of the meal. During infusion of Ex(9-39), more content stayed in the upper stomach (79.1 ± 2.5% of total during Ex(9-39) compared to 66.6 ± 5.7% during saline at 5 min). During Ex(9-39) infusion, higher concentrations of plasma glucagon were measured both before (after 40 min of Ex(9-39) infusion the glucagon level was 15.1 ± 0.7 pmol·L(-1) compared to 5.4 ± 1.4 during saline) and after the meal, and postprandial GLP-1 levels increased. Basal insulin and glucose levels were not affected by Ex(9-39), but the postprandial rise of insulin and glucose enhanced during Ex(9-39).
Conclusions: Endogenous GLP-1 is involved in the regulation of gastric motility in relation to meal intake and also in the regulation of postprandial insulin and glucose levels. Furthermore, endogenous GLP-1 seems to tonically restrain glucagon secretion.