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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Jul;13(7):763-70.

Peptide growth factors in the intestine.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Charité-Campus Virchow Clinic, Berlin, Germany.


A continuously increasing number of regulatory peptides has been demonstrated to be expressed in the intestine and to modulate several functional properties of various intestinal cell populations, including the intestinal epithelium and lamina propria cell populations. These regulatory peptides include members of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family, the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) family, the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family, the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, the trefoil factor (TFF) family, the colony-stimulating factor (CSF) family, and a few other seemingly unrelated regulatory peptides, such as hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and various interleukins, interferons and tumour necrosis factor-related proteins. In addition to the well-known effects on cell proliferation, these regulatory peptide factors regulate several other functional properties of epithelial and other cell populations, such as differentiation, migration, and extracellular matrix deposition and degradation. This review is designed not to discuss all the identified factors in detail but to highlight some of the basic principles of growth factor action in the intestine. It focuses mainly on classical growth factors rather than interleukins and interferons.

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