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Regul Pept. 2005 Jan 15;124(1-3):105-12.

GLP-2 stimulates colonic growth via KGF, released by subepithelial myofibroblasts with GLP-2 receptors.

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  • 1Department of Medical Anatomy, The Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Blegdamsvej 3c, Copenhagen DK-2200, Denmark.



Glucagon-like peptide-2 is thought to act as a growth factor for the gut, but the localization of the GLP-2 receptor and mechanism of action on epithelial growth is unclear.


We found glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) receptors mainly on subepithelial myofibroblasts in rat, mouse, marmoset and human small and large intestine by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation. By double labelling we found that these GLP-2 receptor immunoreactive cells also produce smooth muscle actin and keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). By subcutaneous infusion of either GLP-2 alone, GLP-2 plus KGF antibody, KGF antibody alone or saline in mice, we found that KGF antibody abolished the growth promoting effect of GLP-2 in the large intestine, but not in the small intestine.


Our findings suggest that GLP-2 in the gut acts by activating receptors on the subepithelial myofibroblasts, causing the release of growth factors, which in turn stimulate intestinal growth.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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