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Glucagon-like peptide 2 and its beneficial effects on gut function and health in production animals

E.E. Connor, C.M. Evock-Clover, E.H. Wall, R.L. Baldwin, M. Santin-Duran, T.H. Elsasser, D.M. Bravo
Domestic animal endocrinology 2016 v.56 pp. S56
absorption, animal injuries, animal models, appetite, dairy calves, energy metabolism, food animals, glucagon-like peptides, health foods, humans, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal mucosa, mechanism of action, pathogenesis, peptides, protozoal infections, rodents, swine
Numerous endocrine cell subtypes exist within the intestinal mucosa and produce peptides contributing to the regulation of critical physiological processes including appetite, energy metabolism, gut function, and gut health. The mechanisms of action and the extent of the physiological effects of these enteric peptides are only beginning to be uncovered. One peptide in particular, glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) produced by enteroendocrine L cells, has been fairly well characterized in rodent and swine models in terms of its ability to improve nutrient absorption and healing of the gut after injury. In fact, a long-acting form of GLP-2 recently has been approved for the management and treatment of human conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and short bowel syndrome. However, novel functions of GLP-2 within the gut continue to be demonstrated, including its beneficial effects on intestinal barrier function and reducing intestinal inflammation. As knowledge continues to grow about GLP-2's effects on the gut and its mechanisms of release, the potential to use GLP-2 to improve gut function and health of food animals becomes increasingly more apparent. Thus, the purpose of this review is to summarize: (1) the current understanding of GLP-2's functions and mechanisms of action within the gut; (2) novel applications of GLP-2 (or stimulators of its release) to improve general health and production performance of food animals; and (3) recent findings, using dairy calves as a model, that suggest the therapeutic potential of GLP-2 to reduce the pathogenesis of intestinal protozoan infections.