Effects of sequential treatment with lixisenatide, insulin glargine, or their combination on meal-related glycaemic excursions, insulin and glucagon secretion, and gastric emptying in patients with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Obes Metab. 2020 Apr;22(4):599-611. doi: 10.1111/dom.13935. Epub 2019 Dec 26.


Aim: To examine the glucose-lowering mechanisms of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist lixisenatide after two subsequent meals and in combination with basal insulin.

Materials and methods: Twenty-eight metformin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to treatment sequences with either lixisenatide or insulin glargine alone for 4 weeks, and a combination of both treatments for 4 weeks. Metabolic examinations were performed before and after each treatment period following breakfast and a late lunch 8 hours later.

Results: Lixisenatide mainly reduced postprandial glycaemia, while insulin glargine mainly reduced fasting glucose after breakfast (P < 0.05). This was partially preserved after a late lunch (P < 0.05). After breakfast, lixisenatide reduced insulin secretion and glucagon levels significantly. These effects were lost after a late lunch. Insulin glargine did not significantly reduce glucagon or insulin secretion. Gastric emptying was slowed by lixisenatide, but not by insulin glargine after breakfast. After the late lunch, lixisenatide slightly accelerated gastric emptying.

Conclusions: Lixisenatide decelerates gastric emptying after breakfast, thereby reducing glycaemic excursions, insulin secretion and glucagon levels. The glycaemic reduction persists until after a late lunch, despite accelerated gastric emptying. The combination with insulin glargine enhances the glucose-lowering effect because of complementary modes of action.

Keywords: basal insulin; gastric emptying; glucagon; glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist; incretin hormones; insulin secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't