Rebirth of the Incretin Concept: Its conception and early development

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Abstract

This paper describes the resurrection of the Incretin Concept in the early 1960s. It began with the more or less simultaneous discovery by three groups working independently in London. Dupre demonstrated that secretin given intravenously with glucose increased its rate of disappearance from the blood, McIntyre and co-workers established that hyperglycaemia evoked by oral glucose stimulated more insulin secretion than comparable hyperglycaemia produced by intravenous glucose and Marks and Samols established the insulinotropic properties of glucagon. The concept evolved with the discovery by Samols and co-workers that oral glucose stimulated the release of immunoreactive glucagon-like substances from the gut mucosa and the subsequent isolation of glucagon immunoreactive compounds, most notably oxyntomodulin and glicentin, and of gastic inhibitory polypetide (GIP). It concluded with the isolation and characterisation of glucagon-like peptide 1 (7-36) amide.

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