Subcutaneous glucagon-like peptide-1 improves postprandial glycaemic control over a 3-week period in patients with early type 2 diabetes

Clin Sci (Lond). 1998 Sep;95(3):325-9.


1.Glucagon-like peptide-1 (7-36) amide (GLP-1) is released into the circulation after meals and is the most potent physiological insulinotropic hormone in man. GLP-1 has the advantages over other therapeutic agents for Type 2 diabetes of also suppressing glucagon secretion and delaying gastric emptying. One of the initial abnormalities of Type 2 diabetes is the loss of the first-phase insulin response, leading to postprandial hyperglycaemia.2. To investigate the therapeutic potential of GLP-1 in Type 2 diabetes, six patients were entered into a 6-week, double-blind crossover trial during which each received 3 weeks treatment with subcutaneous GLP-1 or saline, self-administered three times a day immediately before meals. A standard test meal was given at the beginning and end of each treatment period.3.GLP-1 reduced plasma glucose area under the curve (AUC) after the standard test meal by 58% (AUC, 0-240 min: GLP-1 start of treatment, 196+/-141 mmol.min-1.l-1; saline start of treatment, 469+/-124 mmol.min-1.l-1; F=16.4, P<0.05). The plasma insulin excursions were significantly higher with GLP-1 compared with saline over the initial postprandial 30 min, the time period during which the GLP-1 concentration was considerably elevated. The plasma glucagon levels were significantly lower over the 240-min postprandial period with GLP-1 treatment. The beneficial effects of GLP-1 on plasma glucose, insulin and glucagon concentrations were fully maintained for the 3-week treatment period. 4. We have demonstrated a significant improvement in postprandial glycaemic control with subcutaneous GLP-1 treatment. GLP-1 improves glycaemic control partially by restoring the first-phase insulin response and suppressing glucagon and is a potential treatment for Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Glucagon / administration & dosage*
  • Glucagon / blood
  • Glucagon / therapeutic use
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / blood
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Peptide Fragments / administration & dosage*
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use
  • Postprandial Period*
  • Protein Precursors / administration & dosage*
  • Protein Precursors / blood
  • Protein Precursors / therapeutic use


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Protein Precursors
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon