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Gastroenterology. 2006 Aug;131(2):589-605.

The essential role of insulin-like growth factor-1 in the intestinal tropic effects of glucagon-like peptide-2 in mice.

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Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Gastroenterology. 2007 Mar;132(3):1208.



Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) is an intestinal hormone that acts through unknown pathways to induce intestinal growth. We investigated the role of the insulin-like growth factors (IGF-1 and IGF-2) as mediators of GLP-2-enhanced growth in the murine intestine.


IGF-1 expression and secretion were determined in GLP-2-responsive primary intestinal cultures treated with GLP-2. Parameters of intestinal growth were assessed in wild-type (CD1, Igf1(+/+) and Igf2+), heterozygous (Igf1(+/-)), and null (Igf1(-/-) and Igf2(-P)) mice treated chronically with saline, GLP-2, IGF-1, or R-Spondin1.


GLP-2 increased IGF-1 messenger RNA expression and IGF-1 secretion in intestinal cultures and increased expression of IGF-1 messenger RNA in mouse small intestine in vivo. Igf1(+/+) and Igf2+ mice responded to .1 microg/g(-1) per day(-1) GLP-2 with increased intestinal weights, morphometric parameters, and proliferative indices. In contrast, Igf1(-/-) mice were unresponsive to the same dose of GLP-2, failing to demonstrate changes in intestinal weight, morphometry, or proliferation. However, a significant effect of 1 microg/g(-1) per day(-1) GLP-2 was observed in Igf1(-/-) mice, but only in terms of small intestinal weight when normalized for body weight. Furthermore, Igf2(-P) mice demonstrated a partially impaired response in terms of small intestinal growth. Both Igf1(-/-) and Igf2(-P) mice exhibited normal-enhanced intestinal growth in response to IGF-1 and/or R-Spondin1.


GLP-2 enhances intestinal IGF-1 expression and secretion, and IGF-1 is required for small and large intestinal growth in response to GLP-2. These findings identify IGF-1 as an essential mediator of the intestinotropic actions of GLP-2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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