Sustained glucagon-like peptide-2 infusion is required for intestinal adaptation, and cessation reverses increased cellularity in rats with intestinal failure

Matthew C. Koopmann, Xueyan Chen, Jens J. Holst, Denise M. Ney

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17 Scopus citations


Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) is a nutrient-dependent, proglucagon-derived hormone that is a proposed treatment for human short bowel syndrome (SBS). The objective was to determine how the timing, duration, and cessation of GLP-2 administration affect intestinal adaptation and enterocyte kinetics in a rat model of human SBS that results in intestinal failure requiring total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Rats underwent 60% jejunoileal resection plus cecectomy and jugular vein cannulation and were maintained exclusively with TPN for 18 days in these treatments: TPN control (no GLP-2); sustained GLP-2 (1-18 days); early GLP-2 (1-7 days, killed at 7 or 18 days); and delayed GLP-2 (12-18 days). Body weight gain was similar across groups, and plasma bioactive GLP-2 was significantly increased with coinfusion of GLP-2 (100 μg·kg-1·day-1) with TPN. GLP-2-treated rats showed significant increases in duodenum and jejunum mucosal dry mass, protein, DNA, and sucrase activity compared with TPN control. The increased jejunum cellularity reflected significantly decreased apoptosis and increased crypt mitosis and crypt fission due to GLP-2. When GLP-2 infusion stopped at 7 days, these effects were reversed at 18 days. Sustained GLP-2 infusion significantly increased duodenum length and decreased 18-day mortality to 0% from 37.5% deaths in TPN control (P = 0.08). Colon proglucagon expression quantified by real-time RT-qPCR was increased in TPN controls and attenuated by GLP-2 infusion; jejunal expression of the GLP-2 receptor did not differ among groups. In summary, early, sustained GLP-2 infusion reduces mortality, induces crypt fission, and is required for intestinal adaptation, whereas cessation of GLP-2 reverses gains in mucosal cellularity in a rat model of intestinal failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G1222-G1230
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010



  • Apoptosis
  • Crypt fission
  • Parenteral nutrition
  • Proglucagon
  • Short bowel syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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