Background and aims: Glucagon-like peptide GLP-1 and -2 have been shown to regulate immune responses in immune-mediated disorders, including Crohn's disease (CD). Our aim was to investigate post-prandial GLP release and its potential link to chronic inflammation, insulin secretion/sensitivity and body composition changes in CD patients. Methods: Fifteen patients with CD, 15 healthy controls (HC) and 15 patients with metabolic syndrome (MS) were recruited. All patients underwent assessment of body composition by means of bio-impedance followed by a meal tolerance test (MTT). Only one CD patient did not tolerate the MTT and was excluded. Results: Basal GLP-1 levels were up-regulated in CD, however, as compared to HC, stimulated GLP-1 secretion was significantly reduced in CD (-31 %, p < 0.05) as in MS (-52 %, p < 0.003). Similarly, basal GLP-2 levels were comparable to that of HC, while response to MTT in CD was virtually absent (p < 0.05). Similar fasting insulin sensitivity, estimated 1st and 2nd phase insulin secretion and insulinogenic index were found in CD and in HC. Post-prandial GLP secretion was positively correlated to insulin secretion indices, both in CD and MS. In CD, high-sensitive C reactive protein levels (hsCRP) and extra-cellular to intra-cellular water ratio (ECW/ICW), an index of cellular inflammation, were inversely correlated with stimulated GLP-1 (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively) levels. Conclusion: CD is characterized by abnormal fasting and post-prandial GLP levels. Circulating GLP influences subclinical inflammation and glucose metabolism in CD patients, but not their body composition parameters.
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