Investigation of glucagon-like peptide-1 response to six oral carbohydrates in ponies

H. B. Carslake*, G. L. Pinchbeck, C. M. Argo, A. H.A. Dugdale, C. M. McGowan

*Corresponding author for this work

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    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), the principal incretin in horses, may play a role in the pathophysiology of insulin dysregulation (ID). This study aimed to describe its concentration in response to three preserved forages and four dynamic tests for ID in ponies. Twelve adult ponies of mixed ID status were given a meal of hay, soaked hay or haylage, an in-feed oral glucose test (OGT), oral sugar test (OST), an oral test using a proprietary breakfast cereal (WEET) or a combined glucose-insulin tolerance test (CGIT) weekly in a randomised cross-over study. Glucose, insulin and GLP-1 concentrations were measured before and following each intervention. Ponies were designated ID or non-ID and insulin resistant (IR) or non-IR according to OGT and CGIT results, respectively. All interventions apart from the CGIT provoked a GLP-1 response within 30 min. The OGT and WEET interventions, (containing the greatest dose of non-structural carbohydrate, 1.06 and 1 g/kg BW, respectively), resulted in a greater area under the curve (AUC) for GLP-1 compared to all other interventions (P < 0.001). No difference in GLP-1 response was detected according to ID or IR status, despite there being strong positive correlations (rs [95 % CI]) between GLP-1 and insulin concentrations measured at individual time points (0.67 [0.62 – 0.71]; P < 0.001) and as AUC (0.66 [0.49–0.79], P < 0.001). These data do not support of the use of GLP-1 as an adjunctive diagnostic test for ID or IR, as defined by conventional intravenous or oral dynamic tests.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106110
    JournalVeterinary Journal
    Early online date9 Apr 2024
    Publication statusFirst published - 9 Apr 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © 2024. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


    • Enteroinsular axis
    • Horse
    • Incretin
    • Insulin dysregulation
    • Laminitis


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