A glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) analog is used in individuals with intestinal failure who are at risk for liver disease, yet the hepatic actions of GLP-2 are not understood. Treatment of high-fat diet–fed (HFD-fed) mice with GLP-2 did not modify the development of hepatosteatosis or hepatic inflammation. In contrast, Glp2r–/– mice exhibited increased hepatic lipid accumulation, deterioration in glucose tolerance, and upregulation of biomarkers of hepatic inflammation. Both mouse and human liver expressed the canonical GLP-2 receptor (GLP-2R), and hepatic Glp2r expression was upregulated in mice with hepatosteatosis. Cell fractionation localized the Glp2r to hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), and markers of HSC activation and fibrosis were increased in livers of Glp2r–/– mice. Moreover, GLP-2 directly modulated gene expression in isolated HSCs ex vivo. Taken together, these findings define an essential role for the GLP-2R in hepatic adaptation to nutrient excess and unveil a gut hormone-HSC axis, linking GLP-2R signaling to control of HSC activation.
Shai Fuchs, Bernardo Yusta, Laurie L. Baggio, Elodie M. Varin, Dianne Matthews, Daniel J. Drucker