The incretin effect reflects the actions of enteral stimuli to promote prandial insulin secretion. Impairment of this measure has been proposed as an early marker of β-cell dysfunction and described in T2D, IGT, and even obesity without IGT. We sought to determine the effects of obesity and diabetes on the incretin effect in young subjects with short exposures to metabolic abnormalities and a few other confounding medical conditions. Subjects with T2D (n = 10; 18.0 ± 0.4 yr) or NGT, either obese (n = 11; 17.7 ± 0.4 yr) or lean (n = 8; 26.5 ± 2.3 yr), had OGTT and iso-iv. The incretin effect was calculated as the difference in insulin secretion during these tests and was decreased ∼50% in both the NGT-Ob and T2D subjects relative to the NGT-Ln group. The T2D group had impaired glucose tolerance and insulin secretion during the OGTT, whereas the lean and obese NGT subjects had comparable glucose excursions and β-cell function. During the iso-iv test, the NGT-Ob subjects had significantly greater insulin secretion than the NGT-Ln and T2D groups. These findings demonstrate that in young subjects with early, well-controlled T2D the incretin effect is reduced, similar to what has been described in diabetic adults. The lower incretin effect calculated for the obese subjects with NGT is driven by a disproportionately greater insulin response to iv glucose and does not affect postprandial glucose regulation. These findings confirm that the incretin effect is an early marker of impaired insulin secretion in persons with abnormal glucose tolerance but suggest that in obese subjects with NGT the incretin effect calculation can be confounded by exaggerated insulin secretion to iv glucose.
- insulin secretion
- glucose tolerance
- incretin effect
- glucagon-like peptide-1
- glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide
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