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Differential effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 on microvascular recruitment and glucose metabolism in short- and long-term insulin resistance

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 10:20 authored by Sjoberg, KA, Stephen RattiganStephen Rattigan, Jeppesen, JF, Lundsgaard, A-M, Holst, JJ, Kiens, B

Key points:

  • Acute glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) infusion reversed the high fat diet-induced microvascular insulin resistance that occurred after both 5 days and 8 weeks of a high fat diet intervention.
  • When GLP-1 was co-infused with insulin it had overt effects on whole body insulin sensitivity as well as insulin-mediated skeletal muscle glucose uptake after 5 days of a high fat diet, but not after 8 weeks of high fat diet intervention.
  • Acute GLP-1 infusion did not have an additive effect to that of insulin on microvascular recruitment or skeletal muscle glucose uptake in the control group.
  • Here we demonstrate that GLP-1 potently increases the microvascular recruitment in rat skeletal muscle but does not increase glucose uptake in the fasting state. Thus, like insulin, GLP-1 increased the microvascular recruitment but unlike insulin, GLP-1 had no direct effect on skeletal muscle glucose uptake.

Abstract: Acute infusion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) has potent effects on blood flow distribution through the microcirculation in healthy humans and rats. A high fat diet induces impairments in insulin-mediated microvascular recruitment (MVR) and muscle glucose uptake, and here we examined whether this could be reversed by GLP-1. Using contrast-enhanced ultrasound, microvascular recruitment was assessed by continuous real-time imaging of gas-filled microbubbles in the microcirculation after acute (5 days) and prolonged (8 weeks) high fat diet (HF)-induced insulin resistance in rats. A euglycaemic hyperinsulinaemic clamp (3 mU min−1 kg−1), with or without a co-infusion of GLP-1 (100 pmol l−1), was performed in anaesthetized rats. Consumption of HF attenuated the insulin-mediated MVR in both 5 day and 8 week HF interventions which was associated with a 50% reduction in insulin-mediated glucose uptake compared to controls. Acute administration of GLP-1 restored the normal microvascular response by increasing the MVR after both 5 days and 8 weeks of HF intervention (P < 0.05). This effect of GLP-1 was associated with a restoration of both whole body insulin sensitivity and increased insulin-mediated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle by 90% (P < 0.05) after 5 days of HF but not after 8 weeks of HF. The present study demonstrates that GLP-1 increases MVR in rat skeletal muscle and can reverse early stages of high fat diet-induced insulin resistance in vivo.


Publication title

Journal of Physiology










Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Cambridge Univ Press

Place of publication

40 West 20Th St, New York, USA, Ny, 10011-4211

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors Copyright 2015 The Physiological Society

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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