Minireview: the glucagon-like peptides

Endocrinology. 2001 Feb;142(2):521-7. doi: 10.1210/endo.142.2.7983.


The glucagon-like peptides GLP-1 and GLP-2 are produced in enteroendocrine L cells of the small and large intestine and secreted in a nutrient-dependent manner. GLP-1 regulates nutrient assimilation via inhibition of gastric emptying and food intake. GLP-1 controls blood glucose following nutrient absorption via stimulation of glucose-dependent insulin secretion, insulin biosynthesis, islet proliferation, and neogenesis and inhibition of glucagon secretion. Experiments using GLP-1 antagonists and GLP-1 receptor-/- mice indicate that the glucoregulatory actions of GLP-1 are essential for glucose homeostasis. In the central nervous system, GLP-1 regulates hypothalamic-pituitary function and GLP-1-activated circuits mediate the CNS response to aversive stimulation. GLP-2 maintains the integrity of the intestinal mucosal epithelium via effects on gastric motility and nutrient absorption, crypt cell proliferation and apoptosis, and intestinal permeability. Both GLP-1 and GLP-2 are rapidly inactivated in the circulation as a consequence of amino-terminal cleavage by the enzyme dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DP IV). The actions of these peptides on nutrient absorption and energy homeostasis and the efficacy of GLP-1 and GLP-2 in animal models of diabetes and intestinal diseases, respectively, suggest that analogs of these peptides may be clinically useful for the treatment of human disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Glucagon / pharmacology
  • Glucagon / physiology*
  • Glucagon / therapeutic use
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Intestines / drug effects
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / pharmacology
  • Peptide Fragments / physiology*
  • Peptide Fragments / therapeutic use
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Peptides / physiology*
  • Peptides / therapeutic use
  • Protein Precursors / metabolism
  • Protein Precursors / pharmacology
  • Protein Precursors / physiology*
  • Protein Precursors / therapeutic use


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Peptides
  • Protein Precursors
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon