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Gastroenterology. 2009 Sep;137(3):997-1005, 1005.e1-4. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.05.051. Epub 2009 May 29.

Glucagon-like peptide-2 increases intestinal lipid absorption and chylomicron production via CD36.

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Molecular Structure and Function, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Excessive postprandial lipemia is a prevalent condition that results from intestinal oversecretion of apolipoprotein B48 (apoB48)-containing lipoproteins. Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) is a gastrointestinal-derived intestinotropic hormone that links nutrient absorption to intestinal structure and function. We investigated the effects of GLP-2 on intestinal lipid absorption and lipoprotein production.


Intestinal lipid absorption and chylomicron production were quantified in hamsters, wild-type mice, and Cd36(-/-) mice infused with exogenous GLP-2. Newly synthesized apoB48 was metabolically labelled in primary hamster jejunal fragments. Fatty acid absorption was measured, and putative fatty acid transporters were assessed by immunoblotting.


Human GLP-2 increased secretion of the triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoprotein (TRL)-apoB48 following oral administration of olive oil to hamsters; TRL and cholesterol mass each increased 3-fold. Fast protein liquid chromatography profiling indicated that GLP-2 stimulated secretion of chylomicron/very low-density lipoprotein-sized particles. Moreover, GLP-2 directly stimulated apoB48 secretion in jejunal fragments cultured ex vivo, increased expression of fully glycosylated cluster of differentiation 36/fatty acid translocase (CD36), and induced intestinal absorption of [(3)H]triolein. The ability of GLP-2 to increase intestinal lipoprotein production was lost in Cd36(-/-) mice.


GLP-2 stimulates intestinal apoB48-containing lipoprotein secretion, possibly through increased lipid uptake, via a pathway that requires CD36. These findings suggest that GLP-2 represents a nutrient-dependent signal that regulates intestinal lipid absorption and the assembly and secretion of TRLs from intestinal enterocytes.

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