Luminal nutrients stimulate enteroendocrine L cells to release gut hormones, including intestinotrophic glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2). Because L cells express the bile acid receptor TGR5 and dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPPIV) rapidly degrades GLPs, we hypothesized that luminal TGR5 activation may attenuate intestinal injury via GLP-2 release, which is enhanced by DPPIV inhibition. Intestinal injury was induced in mice by administration of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) in drinking water (free access to water containing 5% DSS for 7 days). The selective TGR5 agonist betulinic acid (BTA) and the DPPIV inhibitor sitagliptin phosphate monohydrate (STG) were administered orally for 7 days. Male C57BL/6 mice (6-7 weeks old) were divided into five groups: normal control group, disease control group, BTA low group (drinking water containing 15 mg/L BTA), BTA high group (50 mg/L BTA), and BTA high + STG (3 mg/kg, i.g.) group. The selective TGR5 agonist BTA dose-dependently suppressed disease activity index and mRNA expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α in the colon. Nevertheless, STG administration had little additive effect on BTA-induced protection. Fibroblast activation protein mRNA expression, but not expression of other DPP family members, was increased in the colon of DSS-treated mice with increased mucosal DPPIV. Co-administration of the selective GLP-2 antagonist GLP-2 (3-33) reversed the effect of BTA. The selective TGR5 agonist BTA ameliorated DSS-induced colitis in mice via the GLP-2 pathway with no effect of DPPIV inhibition, suggesting that other DPP enzymatic activity is involved in GLP-2 degradation.
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