To determine the effects of exogenous glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2), with or without massive distal bowel resection, on adaptation of jejunal mucosa, enteric neurons, gut hormones and tissue reserves in rats.
GLP-2 is a gut hormone known to be trophic for small bowel mucosa, and to mimic intestinal adaptation in short bowel syndrome (SBS). However, the effects of exogenous GLP-2 and SBS on enteric neurons are unclear.
Sprague Dawley rats were randomized to four treatments: Transected Bowel (TB) (n = 8), TB + GLP-2 (2.5 nmol/kg/h, n = 8), SBS (n = 5), or SBS + GLP-2 (2.5 nmol/kg/h, n = 9). SBS groups underwent a 60% jejunoileal resection with cecectomy and jejunocolic anastomosis. All rats were maintained on parenteral nutrition for 7 d. Parameters measured included gut morphometry, qPCR for hexose transporter (SGLT-1, GLUT-2, GLUT-5) and GLP-2 receptor mRNA, whole mount immunohistochemistry for neurons (HuC/D, VIP, nNOS), plasma glucose, gut hormones, and body composition.
Resection increased the proportion of nNOS immunopositive myenteric neurons, intestinal muscularis propria thickness and crypt cell proliferation, which were not recapitulated by GLP-2 therapy. Exogenous GLP-2 increased jejunal mucosal surface area without affecting enteric VIP or nNOS neuronal immunopositivity, attenuated resection-induced reductions in jejunal hexose transporter abundance (SGLT-1, GLUT-2), increased plasma amylin and decreased peptide YY concentrations. Exogenous GLP-2 attenuated resection-induced increases in blood glucose and body fat loss.
Exogenous GLP-2 stimulates jejunal adaptation independent of enteric neuronal VIP or nNOS changes, and has divergent effects on plasma amylin and peptide YY concentrations. The novel ability of exogenous GLP-2 to modulate resection-induced changes in peripheral glucose and lipid reserves may be important in understanding the whole-body response following intestinal resection, and is worthy of further study.