Plasma gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) responses to equimolar intragastrically administered emulsions of fatty acids (2.62 mmol/7.5 ml/kg) were examined in 18 h fasted obese hyperglycaemic (ob/ob) mice. Propionic acid (C3:0), a saturated short-chain fatty acid, and capric acid (C10:0), a saturated medium chain fatty acid, did not signilicantly stimulate GIP release. However, the saturated long-chain fatty acid stearic acid (C18:0), and especially the unsaturated long-chain fatty acids oleic (C18:1), linoleic (C18:2) and linolenic (C18:3) acids produced a marked GIP response. The results show that chain length and to a lesser extent the degree of saturation are important determinants of fatty acid-stimulated GIP release. The GIP-release action of long-chain, but not short-chain, fatty acids may be related to differences in their intracellular handling.

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