Clinical uses of gut peptides.
OBJECTIVE: The authors review clinical applications of gut-derived peptides as diagnostic and therapeutic agents. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: An increasing number of gut peptides have been evaluated for clinical use. Earlier uses as diagnostic agents have been complemented more recently by increasing application of gut peptides as therapeutic agents. METHOD: The authors conducted a literature review. RESULTS: Current experience with clinical use of gut peptides is described. Initial clinical applications focused on using secretomotor effects of gut peptides in diagnostic tests, many of which have now fallen into disuse. More recently, attention has been directed toward harnessing these secretomotor effects for therapeutic use in a variety of disorders, and also using the trophic effects of gut peptides to modulate gut mucosal growth in benign and malignant disease. Gut peptides have been evaluated in a variety of other clinical situations including use as adjuncts to imaging techniques, and modification of behaviors such as feeding and panic disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Gut peptides have been used successfully in an increasing variety of clinical conditions. Further refinements in analogue and antagonist design are likely to lead to even more selective agents that may have important clinical applications. Further studies are needed to identity and evaluate these new agents.
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