Aims To assess the effect of liraglutide, a once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue on pancreatic B-cell function.
Methods Patients with Type 2 diabetes (n = 39) were randomized to treatment with 0.65, 1.25 or 1.9 mg/day liraglutide or placebo for 14 weeks. First- and second-phase insulin release were measured by means of the insulin-modified frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test. Arginine-stimulated insulin secretion was measured during a hyperglycaemic clamp (20 mmol/l). Glucose effectiveness and insulin sensitivity were estimated by means of the insulin-modified frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test.
Results The two highest doses of liraglutide (1.25 and 1.9 mg/day) significantly increased first-phase insulin secretion by 118 and 103%, respectively (P < 0.05). Second-phase insulin secretion was significantly increased only in the 1.25 mg/day group vs. placebo. Arginine-stimulated insulin secretion increased significantly at the two highest dose levels vs. placebo by 114 and 94%, respectively (P < 0.05). There was no significant treatment effect on glucose effectiveness or insulin sensitivity.
Conclusions Fourteen weeks of treatment with liraglutide showed improvements in first- and second-phase insulin secretion, together with improvements in arginine-stimulated insulin secretion during hyperglycaemia.