, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 2679-2687
Date: 19 Sep 2013

Exaggerated release and preserved insulinotropic action of glucagon-like peptide-1 underlie insulin hypersecretion in glucose-tolerant individuals after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass

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Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) improves glycaemic control in part by increasing postprandial insulin secretion through exaggerated glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 release. However, it is unknown whether islet cell responsiveness to i.v. glucose, non-glucose (arginine) and incretin hormones, including GLP-1, is altered.


Eleven severely obese glucose-tolerant individuals underwent three hyperglycaemic clamps with arginine bolus and co-infusion of either GLP-1, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) or saline before, and at 1 week and 3 months after RYGB. In addition, an OGTT was performed before and 3 months after surgery.


After RYGB, insulin sensitivity improved at 1 week and 3 months, while insulin stimulation and glucagon suppression in response to the clamp with saline co-infusion were largely unaltered. The influence of i.v. GLP-1 and GIP on insulin and glucagon secretion was also unchanged postoperatively. In response to the postoperative OGTT at 3 months, insulin and GLP-1, but not GIP, secretion increased. Furthermore, the glucose profile during the OGTT was altered, with a substantial reduction in 2 h plasma glucose and a paradoxical hypersecretion of glucagon.


After RYGB, insulin hypersecretion is linked to the oral, but not the i.v., route of administration and is associated with exaggerated release and preserved insulinotropic action of GLP-1, while both the secretion and action of GIP are unchanged. The results highlight the importance of increased GLP-1 secretion for improving postoperative glucose metabolism.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01559779.