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E-pub ahead of print

Effects of glepaglutide, a long-acting glucagon-like peptide-2 analog, on intestinal morphology and perfusion in patients with short bowel syndrome: Findings from a randomized phase 2 trial

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BACKGROUND: The proadaptive effects of glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) include stimulation of intestinal mucosal growth as well as intestinal blood flow and angiogenesis. We have recently reported that daily subcutaneous injections of glepaglutide, a long-acting GLP-2 analog, improved intestinal absorptive function in patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS). As secondary and exploratory end points, the effects of glepaglutide on intestinal morphology and perfusion are reported.

METHODS: The following assessments were done in 18 patients with SBS in a randomized, crossover, dose-finding, phase 2 trial before and after three weeks of treatment with glepaglutide: plasma citrulline and mucosa biopsies to assess changes in (1) intestinal morphology by immunohistochemistry and (2) gene expressions associated with absorption, proliferation, and markers of tight-junction integrity by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Intestinal perfusion was assessed in stoma nipples by laser speckle contrast imaging and quantitative fluorescence angiography with indocyanine green.

RESULTS: In the 1- and 10-mg dose groups, glepaglutide significantly increased plasma citrulline by 15.3 µmol/L (P = 0.001) and 15.6 µmol/L (P = 0.001), respectively. Trends toward an increase in villus height, crypt depth, and epithelium height were seen in the same groups. No significant changes were seen in gene expressions or intestinal perfusion.

CONCLUSION: The increase in plasma citrulline and the morphological improvements may partly account for improvement in the intestinal absorptive function. However, the finding of a stability in perfusion after three weeks of treatment with glepaglutide may have been preceded by a more profound acute-phase increase in intestinal perfusion at treatment initiation.

TidsskriftJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 5 maj 2022

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