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

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e180-6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

    Research areas

  • Adult, Age Factors, Biological Markers, Case-Control Studies, Child, Cohort Studies, Energy Metabolism, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Gastrointestinal Tract, Gestational Age, Glucagon-Like Peptide 1, Glucagon-Like Peptide 2, Glucagon-Like Peptides, Humans, Infant Food, Infant, Newborn, Infant, Premature, Intensive Care Units, Neonatal, Intestinal Absorption, Male, Pregnancy, Probability, Reference Values, Risk Factors

ID: 132049488