Glucagon-like peptide-1 and control of insulin secretion

Diabete Metab. 1995 Dec;21(5):311-8.


Although glucose is the major regulator of insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells, its action is modulated by several neural and hormonal stimuli. In particular, hormones secreted by intestinal endocrine cells stimulate glucose-induced insulin secretion very potently after nutrient absorption. These hormones, called gluco-incretins or insulinotropic hormones, are major regulators of postprandial glucose homeostasis. The main gluco-incretins are GIP (gastric inhibitory polypeptide or glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide) and GLP-1 (glucagon-like polypeptide-1). The secretion of GIP, a 42 amino acid polypeptide secreted by duodenal K cells, is triggered by fat and glucose. GIP stimulation of insulin secretion depends on the presence of specific beta-cell receptors and requires glucose at a concentration at least equal to or higher than the normoglycaemic level of approximately 5 mM. GIP accounts for about 50% of incretin activity, and the rest may be due to GLP-1 which is produced by proteolytic processing of the preproglucagon molecule in intestinal L cells. GLP-1 is the most potent gluco-incretin characterized so far. As with GIP, its stimulatory action requires a specific membrane receptor and normal or elevated glucose concentrations. Contrary to GIP, the incretin effect of GLP-1 is maintained in non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients. This peptide or agonists of its beta-cell receptor could provide new therapeutic tools for the treatment of Type II diabetic hyperglycaemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide / physiology
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Glucagon / physiology*
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology*
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • Protein Precursors / physiology*
  • Receptors, Glucagon / chemistry
  • Receptors, Glucagon / metabolism
  • Secretory Rate / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • GLP1R protein, human
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Insulin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protein Precursors
  • Receptors, Glucagon
  • Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon