The Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, Department of Medicine, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 2C4
The glucagon-like peptides GLP-1 and GLP-2 are synthesised and then released from enteroendocrine cells in the small and large intestine. GLP-1 promotes efficient nutrient assimilation while GLP-2 regulates energy absorption via effects on nutrient intake, gastric acid secretion and gastric emptying, nutrient absorption, and mucosal permeability. Preliminary human studies indicate that GLP-2 may enhance energy absorption and reduce fluid loss in subjects with short bowel syndrome suggesting that GLP-2 functions as a key regulator of mucosal integrity, permeability, and nutrient absorption. Hence GLP-2 may be therapeutically useful in diseases characterised by injury or dysfunction of the gastrointestinal epithelium.