48-h Glucose infusion in humans: Effect on hormonal responses, hunger and food intake

Karen L. Teff, Maja Petrova, Peter J Havel, Raymond R. Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Experimentally-induced hyperglycemia by prolonged glucose infusion allows investigation of the effects of sustained stimulation of the pancreatic β-cell on insulin secretion and sensitivity. Hormonal responses to a meal following prolonged glucose infusions have not been investigated. To determine if a 48-h glucose infusion alters hormonal responses to a test meal as well as food intake and hunger in normal weight individuals, 16 subjects (8 men, 8 women, age 18-30 years, mean BMI = 21.7 ± 1.6 kg/m2) were infused for 48 h with either saline (50 ml/h) or 15% glucose (200 mg/m2/min). Subjects ingested a 600 kcal mixed nutrient meal 3 h after infusion termination. Blood samples were taken during the 48 h and for 4 h following food ingestion. The 48-h glucose infusion elicited a metabolic profile of a glucose intolerant obese subjects, with increased plasma glucose, insulin and leptin (all P < 0.01) and increased HOMA-IR (P < 0.001). During meal ingestion, early insulin secretion was increased (P < 0.05) but post-prandial glucose (P < 0.01) and insulin (P < 0.01) excursions were lower following the glucose infusion. Post-prandial plasma triglyceride concentrations were increased after glucose compared with saline. Food intake and hunger ratings were not different between the two conditions. Plasma leptin levels were inversely correlated with hunger (P < 0.03) in both conditions and with food intake (P < 0.003) during the glucose condition only. Thus, a 48-h glucose infusion does not impair post-prandial hormonal responses, alter food intake or hunger in normal weight subjects. The glucose-induced increases in plasma leptin result in a stronger inverse relationship between plasma leptin and hunger as well as food intake. These data are the first to demonstrate a relationship between leptin and hunger in normal weight, non-calorically restricted human subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-743
Number of pages11
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 23 2007


  • Food intake
  • Insulin
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Leptin
  • Triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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