Circulating levels of glucagon-like peptide-2 in human subjects with inflammatory bowel disease

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2000 Apr;278(4):R1057-63. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.2000.278.4.R1057.


Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) is a recently characterized intestine-derived peptide that exerts trophic activity in the small and large intestine. Whether circulating levels of GLP-2 are perturbed in the setting of human inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) remains unknown. The circulating levels of bioactive GLP-2-(1-33) compared with its degradation product GLP-2-(3-33) were assessed using a combination of RIA and HPLC in normal and immunocompromised control human subjects and patients hospitalized for IBD. The activity of the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DP IV), a key determinant of GLP-2-(1-33) degradation was also assessed in the plasma of normal controls and subjects with IBD. The circulating levels of bioactive GLP-2-(1-33) were increased in patients with either ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's Disease (CD; to 229 +/- 65 and 317 +/- 89%, P < 0.05, of normal, respectively). Furthermore, the proportion of total immunoreactivity represented by intact GLP-2-(1-33), compared with GLP-2-(3-33), was increased from 43 +/- 3% in normal healthy controls to 61 +/- 6% (P < 0.01) and 59 +/- 2% (P < 0.01) in patients with UC and CD, respectively. The relative activity of plasma DP IV was significantly reduced in subjects with IBD compared with normal subjects (1.4 +/- 0.3 vs. 5.0 +/- 1.1 mU/ml, respectively; P < 0.05). These results suggest that patients with active IBD may undergo an adaptive response to intestinal injury by increasing the circulating levels of bioactive GLP-2-(1-33), facilitating enhanced repair of the intestinal mucosal epithelium in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Adult
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / blood*
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Crohn Disease / blood*
  • Female
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Peptides / blood*
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / blood


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Peptides
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides