We usually assume that the ups and downs of blood glucose are solely responsible for changes in the release of insulin into the circulation, such as in response to a meal. However, the release of insulin from the pancreas is supported by signals from the alimentary canal (gut). When food is transported from the stomach into the small intestine, from which glucose, fat and proteins are absorbed into the blood, gut hormones are released into the circulation. Around 50% of the insulin secreted into the blood in response to a typical meal is released only through the effect of these gut hormones – gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Andrea El-Ouaghlidi and Michael A Nauck report on the potential use of these hormones as promising new therapies for the management of Type 2 diabetes.
glucagon-like peptide 1, glucagon, GLP-1, GIP, Gila monster, exendin-4, exenatide, DPP-4