Glucagon-like peptide 2 has limited efficacy to increase nutrient absorption in fetal and preterm pigs

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Per Torp Sangild, Christiane Malo, Mette Schmidt, Yvette M. Petersen, Jan Elnif, Jens Juul Holst, Randal K. Bunddington

Exogenous glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) prevents intestinal atrophy and increases nutrient absorption in term newborn pigs receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN). We tested the hypothesis that the immature intestine of fetuses and preterm neonates has a diminished nutrient absorption response to exogenous GLP-2. This was accomplished using catheterized fetal pigs infused for 6 days (87-91% of gestation) with GLP-2 (25 iv; n = 7) or saline (n = 7), and cesarean-delivered preterm pigs (92% of gestation) that received TPN with GLP-2 (25 iv; n = 8) or saline (n = 7) for 6 days after birth. Responses to GLP-2 were assessed by measuring intestinal dimensions, absorption of nutrients (glucose, leucine, lysine, proline) by intact tissues and brush border membrane vesicles, and abundance of sodium-glucose cotransporter mRNA. Infusion of GLP-2 increased circulating GLP-2 levels in fetuses, but did not increase intestinal mass or absorption of nutrients by intact tissues and brush border membrane vesicles, except for lysine. Administration of exogenous GLP-2 to preterm TPN-fed pigs similarly did not increase rates of nutrient absorption, yet nutrient absorption capacities of the entire small intestine tended to increase (+10-20%, P < 0.10) compared with TPN alone due to increased intestinal mass (+30%, P < 0.05). GLP-2 infusion did not increase sodium-glucose cotransporter-1 mRNA abundance in fetuses or postnatal preterm pigs. Hence, the efficacy of exogenous GLP-2 to improve nutrient absorption by the intestine of fetal and preterm pigs is limited compared with term pigs and more mature animals and humans.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)R2179-R2184
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ID: 8093071