- ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating gastrointestinal disease, that affects premature infants. Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) is an intestinotrophic hormone and reduces the inflammation. We suspected that GLP-2 would have protective and anti-inflammatory effects in an experimental rat model of NEC. NEC was induced in newborn rats by enteral feeding with hyperosmolar formula, asphyxial stress and enteral administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Rats were randomly divided into the following four groups: dam-fed, NEC, NEC+GLP-2(L) given 80 μg/kg/day of GLP-2, and NEC+GLP-2(H) given 800 μg/kg/day of GLP-2. GLP-2 was administered subcutaneously every 6 h before stress. All animals surviving beyond 96 h or any that developed signs of distress were euthanized. The clinical sickness score in the NEC+GLP-2(H) group was significantly lower than that in the NEC group. The NEC score and the survival rate in the NEC+GLP-2(H) group was significantly improved compared with those in the NEC and the NEC+GLP-2(L) groups. Villous height and crypt depth in both the GLP-2 treatment groups were significantly increased compared with those in the NEC group. There were no significant differences in the crypt cell proliferation indices among the groups. Ileal interstitial TNF-α and IL-6 level in the NEC+GLP-2(H) group was decreased to the same levels in the dam-fed group. High dose GLP-2 administration improved the incidence and survival rate for NEC. It also decreased mucosal inflammatory cytokine production. These results support a potential therapeutic role for GLP-2 in the treatment of NEC.
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