The jury is still out on the role of luminal EGF in the normal gastrointestinal tract. Recent evidence, however, suggests that its major function is to act as a 'luminal surveillance' peptide, which is available to stimulate repair and that it is not of major importance in maintaining normal gut growth. Recombinant EGF administered via the gut lumen could still prove a valuable tool for the treatment of gastrointestinal ulceration. Perhaps the old term for EGF, 'epidermal healing factor' or EHF, was more appropriate after all!
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