Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Attenuates the Acceleration of Gastric Emptying Induced by Hypoglycemia in Healthy Subjects

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Exogenous GLP-1 slows gastric emptying in health and diabetes leading to diminished glycemic excursions. Gastric emptying is markedly accelerated by hypoglycemia. The primary objective was to determine whether GLP-1 attenuates the acceleration of gastric emptying induced by hypoglycemia.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

Ten healthy volunteers were studied on four separate days in a randomized double-blind fashion. Blood glucose was stabilized using a glucose/insulin clamp at hypoglycemia (2.6 mmol/L on two occasions [hypo]) or euglycemia (6.0 mmol/L on two occasions [eu]) between T = −15 and 45 min before clamping at 6.0 mmol/L until 180 min. During hypoglycemia and euglycemia, subjects received intravenous GLP-1 (1.2 pmol/kg/min) or placebo. At T = 0 min, subjects ingested 100 g beef mince labeled with 20 MBq 99mTc-sulfur-colloid and 3 g of 3-O-methyl-glucose (3-OMG), a marker of glucose absorption. Gastric emptying was measured scintigraphically from T = 0 to 180 min and serum 3-OMG taken at 15-min intervals. The areas under the curve for gastric emptying and 3-OMG concentration were analyzed using one-way repeated-measures ANOVA with Bonferroni-Holm adjusted post hoc tests.

RESULTS

Gastric emptying was accelerated during hypoglycemia (hypo/placebo vs. eu/placebo; P < 0.001), as was glucose absorption (P < 0.03). GLP-1 slowed emptying during euglycemia (eu/placebo vs. eu/GLP-1; P < 0.001). However, hypoglycemia-induced acceleration of gastric emptying on placebo was markedly diminished by GLP-1 (hypo/placebo vs. hypo/GLP-1; P < 0.008), as was glucose absorption (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS

Acute administration of exogenous GLP-1 attenuates, but does not abolish, the acceleration of gastric emptying by insulin-induced hypoglycemia in healthy subjects.

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