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Pediatrics. 2008 Jan;121(1):e180-6. doi: 10.1542/peds.2007-1461.

Functional ontogeny of the proglucagon-derived peptide axis in the premature human neonate.

Author information

1
Department of Neonatology, Foothills Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The regulation of intestinal growth and development in human neonates is incompletely understood, which hinders the provision of nutrients enterally. The "hindgut" hormones glucagon-like peptides 1 and 2 have been shown to play an important role in the regulation of nutrient assimilation, intestinal growth, and function.

OBJECTIVE:

Our goal was to investigate the production of glucagon-like peptides 1 and 2 in premature human infants and examine the effects of prematurity and feeding on hormone release.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

With informed consent, premature infants who were admitted to a tertiary neonatal intensive care nursery (gestational age: 28-32 weeks) were monitored with weekly determinations of postprandial glucagon-like peptide 1 and 2 levels. Comparison studies with groups of normal infants and adults were performed. Hormone levels were obtained by using specific radioimmunoassay for glucagon-like peptide 1 (1-36) and glucagon-like peptide 2 (1-33), modified for small sample volumes; accurate monitoring of enteral intake was performed at all of the sampling time points.

RESULTS:

Forty-five infants with a mean gestational age of 29.6 +/- 1.9 weeks were studied; fasting levels of both glucagon-like peptides 1 and 2 were elevated. There was no correlation between gestational age and glucagon-like peptide 2 output. However, both glucagon-like peptide 1 and 2 levels were correlated with the caloric value of feeds.

CONCLUSIONS:

The premature human neonate has significantly higher fasting levels of glucagon-like peptides 1 and 2 compared with adults; feeding increases these levels further. These findings suggest that the proglucagon-derived peptides may have a role in normal intestinal development and nutrient handling.

PMID:
18166537
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2007-1461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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