New developments in the incretin concept

Diabetologia. 1985 Aug;28(8):565-73. doi: 10.1007/BF00281990.


Experimental and clinical work over the last 6 years has confirmed and broadened, but also challenged, the incretin concept. The nervous component of the entero-insular axis is still poorly defined, especially the peptidergic nerves, of which several contain insulinotropic regulatory peptides. The incretin effect is preserved after complete denervation of the porcine pancreas. Type 2 (non insulin-dependent) diabetic patients have a significantly decreased incretin effect. GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide; glucose dependent insulin releasing peptide) remains the strongest incretin factor. Its secretion depends on the absorption of nutrients. However, the correlation between the GIP response and disturbances of the entero-insular axis in some gastrointestinal diseases and, in particular, Type 2 diabetes, is poor. Furthermore, physiological concentrations of exogenous GIP do not produce fully the incretin effect and injection of GIP antibodies does not abolish the incretin effect. This suggests the existence of additional humoral incretin factors. On the other hand, GIP seems to have direct metabolic effects independent of its insulinotropic activity. The incretin effect of oral glucose is smaller if plasma levels of C-peptide rather than insulin are measured. However, decreased hepatic extraction of insulin after glucose ingestion only accounts partially for the incretin effect. GIP is unlikely to be the gut factor which regulates hepatic insulin extraction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Feedback
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / metabolism
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / pharmacology
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / physiology*
  • Glucagon / pharmacology
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / analysis
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology*


  • Insulin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • glucagon-like peptide 1 (7-36)amide
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon
  • Glucose