Glucagon-like peptide 2: a key link between nutrition and intestinal adaptation in neonates?

J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3712-6. doi: 10.1093/jn/133.11.3712.


This paper reviews the evidence from recent studies in young piglets to examine the hypothesis that glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) is a physiologically relevant hormonal signal linked to the intestinal adaptation associated with enteral nutrition in neonates. Observations that support the hypothesis include, 1) the GLP-2 secretory response to enteral nutrition is functional as early as late gestation, 2) parallel changes in intestinal growth and circulating GLP-2 occur in response to the quantity and composition of enteral nutrition after birth, and 3) the acute temporal changes in intestinal metabolism and circulating GLP-2 concentrations in response to enteral nutrition are generally coincident. In contrast, however, the lack of intestinal trophic responses to both pharmacological GLP-2 concentrations in the fetus and weanling pigs, and to physiological GLP-2 concentrations in neonates raises doubts concerning the physiological relevance of GLP-2 as a enterally mediated trophic signal. A more definitive test of this hypothesis will require further studies that assess the intestinal metabolic response to enteral nutrition using experimental approaches that block GLP-2 action.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Intestines / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Peptides / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Swine
  • alpha-Glucosidases / metabolism


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Peptides
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • alpha-Glucosidases
  • Glucose