Gut hormones and intestinal diseases

We tend to focus our research in this area in the importance of the peptide in chemotherapy induced mucositis. Chemotherapy induced mucositis is a frequent complication of anticancer treatment. The disease threatens the effectiveness of therapy because it often leads to dose reduction and impairs patients’ quality of life. We have shown that both GLP-1 and GLP-2 treatment were able to reduce the damages to the intestine seen in mice after injections of chemotherapy.

We know that patients with obesity or diabetes have an impaired secretion of both GLP-1 and GLP-2. We also know that when patients are not eating, the secretion is abolished, and the epithelium gets atrophic. Still it is not seldom to see, that patients with severe nausea after chemotherapy are treated with total parenteral nutrition, which then again will abolish the endogenous secretion of the peptides.  Therefore we are investigating if the endogenous hormones are involved in the regenerative processes that occur after the intestinal damage. We have to know if patients needs substitution with the hormones if they have an impaired secretion e.g. diabetes, obesity or are treated with total parenteral nutrition.

We use experimental models of mucositis and the diphtheria toxin conditional knock out mouse, in which we can selectively destroy the GLP-1 and GLP-2 secreting L-cells.