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Clinical endocrinology and metabolism. Glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucagon-like peptide-2.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, The Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street, MBRW 4R-402, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2C4.


The glucagon-like peptides (glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2)) are released from enteroendocrine cells in response to nutrient ingestion. GLP-1 enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and inhibits glucagon secretion, gastric emptying and feeding. GLP-1 also has proliferative, neogenic and antiapoptotic effects on pancreatic beta-cells. More recent studies illustrate a potential protective role for GLP-1 in the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. GLP-2 is an intestinal trophic peptide that stimulates cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis in the intestinal crypt compartment. GLP-2 also regulates intestinal glucose transport, food intake and gastric acid secretion and emptying, and improves intestinal barrier function. Thus, GLP-1 and GLP-2 exhibit a diverse array of metabolic, proliferative and cytoprotective actions with important clinical implications for the treatment of diabetes and gastrointestinal disease, respectively. This review will highlight our current understanding of the biology of GLP-1 and GLP-2, with an emphasis on both well-characterized and more novel therapeutic applications of these peptides.

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