INTRODUCTION: Impaired secretion of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) has been suggested to contribute to the deficient incretin effect in patients with type 2 diabetes. It is unclear whether this is a primary defect or a consequence of the hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes. We examined whether acute hyperglycemia reduces the postprandial excursions of gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) and GLP-1, and if so, whether this can be attributed to changes in gastric emptying. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Fifteen nondiabetic individuals participated in a euglycemic clamp and a hyperglycemic clamp experiment, carried out over 285 min. A mixed meal was ingested after 45 min. Plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, C-peptide, glucagon, triglycerides, GIP, and GLP-1 were determined, and gastric emptying was assessed using a (13)C-octanoate breath test. RESULTS: Glucose levels were 160 +/- 1 mg/dl during the hyperglycemic clamp experiments and 83 +/- 3 mg/dl during the euglycemia (P < 0.0001). Glucose infusion rates were higher during hyperglycemia, but meal ingestion led to a decline in glucose requirements in both experiments (P < 0.0001). Insulin and C-peptide levels were higher during the hyperglycemic clamp experiments (P < 0.0001), whereas glucagon levels were higher during euglycemia (P < 0.0001). The postprandial increases in GIP and GLP-1 concentrations were 46 and 52% lower during the experiments with hyperglycemia (P = 0.0017 and P = 0.021). Hyperglycemia also elicited a significant delay in gastric emptying (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Hyperglycemia acutely reduces the postprandial levels of GIP and GLP-1, possibly through a deceleration of gastric emptying. This supports the concept that reduced incretin levels in some patients with type 2 diabetes are a consequence rather than a cause of type 2 diabetes.
Keywords: Adult; Body Mass Index; C-Peptide; Cholesterol, HDL; Female; Gastric Emptying; Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide; Glucagon; Glucagon-Like Peptide 1; Glucose Clamp Technique; Humans; Hyperglycemia; Kidney Function Tests; Liver Function Tests; Male; Postprandial Period; Reference Values; Young Adult