The region of enteral nutrient exposure may be an important determinant of postprandial incretin hormone secretion and blood glucose homoeostasis. We compared responses of plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), insulin and glucagon, and blood glucose to a standardised glucose infusion into the proximal jejunum and duodenum in healthy humans. Ten healthy males were evaluated during a standardised glucose infusion (2 kcal min(-1) over 120 min) into the proximal jejunum (50 cm post pylorus) and were compared with another 10 healthy males matched for ethnicity, age and body mass index who received an identical glucose infusion into the duodenum (12 cm post pylorus). Blood was sampled frequently for measurements of blood glucose and plasma hormones. Plasma GLP-1, GIP and insulin responses, as well as the insulin:glucose ratio and the insulinogenic index 1 (IGI1) were greater (P<0.05 for each) after intrajejunal (i.j.) than intraduodenal glucose infusion, without a significant difference in blood glucose or plasma glucagon. Pooled analyses revealed direct relationships between IGI1 and the responses of GLP-1 and GIP (r=0.48 and 0.56, respectively, P<0.05 each), and between glucagon and GLP-1 (r=0.70, P<0.001). In conclusion, i.j. glucose elicits greater incretin hormone and insulin secretion than intraduodenal glucose in healthy humans, suggesting regional specificity of the gut-incretin axis.