Peptide YY in diabetics treated chronically with an intestinal glucosidase inhibitor

H. S. Füeßl, T. E. Adrian, L. O. Uttenthal, S. R. Bloom

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Peptide YY (PYY) is a recently discovered peptide found in the distal ileum and colon. It circulates in plasma and concentrations rise in malabsorptive conditions. The potential of PYY as an indicator of impaired carbohydrate digestion was studied in a pharmacological model of intestinal glucosidase inhibition. Thirteen type-2 diabetics on long-term treatment with the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose (3 × 100 mg per day) had test meals with and without acarbose 100 mg before and after the treatment period (mean 46 weeks), a test meal with acarbose after 20 weeks of continuous treatment and a final test meal without acarbose 6 weeks after cessation of treatment. Without acarbose mean plasma PYY concentrations rose from a mean basal value of 11.5±2.9 pmol/l to 19.5±3.9 pmol/l 120 min postprandially (P<0.01). Acarbose treatment did not effect basal plasma PYY concentrations but significantly enhanced food stimulated PYY concentrations acutely, at 20 weeks and at the final treatment test meal. Mean incremental integrated plasma responses (area under curve) rose by 183%, 184% and 169%, respectively (P<0.05). After cessation of treatment postprandial responses returned to pretreatment values within 6 weeks. Conversely, the integrated incremetal postprandial plasma responses of glucose and insulin were reversibly reduced by acarbose to 58%±9% and 60%±10% of controls, respectively. Self-assesed side effects of flatulence and more frequent bowel action showed no regular relationship to the PYY response. PYY seems to act as an indicator of the increased carbohydrate load to the distal intestine even in the absence of clinical symptoms. It may contribute to the hypoglycaemic effect of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors by slowing down intestinal transit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-989
Number of pages5
JournalKlinische Wochenschrift
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Glucosidase inhibitors
  • Impaired carbohydrate digestion
  • Long-term treatment
  • Peptide YY

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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