Public Release: 

New treatment may help neonatal liver disease associated with parenteral nutrition

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)

A new study finds that exogenous glucagon-like peptide 2 (GLP-2) treatment may help fight neonatal parenteral nutrition-associated liver disease (PNALD).

The study, published today in the OnlineFirst version of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN), the research journal of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), provided neonatal piglets with 17 days of parenteral nutrition therapy and either GLP-2 treatment or saline control. In a previous study, the researchers found that GLP-2 therapy improved bile flow and serum markers of cholestasis.

In this follow-up study, the authors found that GLP-2 treatment was associated with alterations in bile acid profiles and the hepatic expression of genes involved in bile acid metabolism, which may be beneficial for PNALD. The data suggest that GLP-2 improves the excretion of toxic bile acids while stimulating liver growth, perhaps via the synthesis of more hepatoprotective bile acids. These findings support a beneficial role for GLP-2 as a novel therapy in PNALD.

This novel research was performed at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. It earned Dr. David W. Lim, first author on the research article, the 2015 A.S.P.E.N. Harry M. Vars Award, the A.S.P.E.N. Research Trainee Award, and the A.S.P.E.N. New Practitioner Award.


A publication of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.), the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) is the premier scientific journal of nutrition and metabolic support. It publishes original, peer-reviewed studies that define the cutting edge of basic and clinical research in the field. It explores the science of optimizing the care of patients receiving enteral or intravenous therapies. All published JPEN articles are available online at

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy and metabolism. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,000 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. For more information about A.S.P.E.N., please visit

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