Physiology of the enteroendocrine system


  • Dr Frank Reimann

    University of Cambridge

  • Prof Fiona Gribble

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

The diffuse enteroendocrine system comprises more endocrine cells than any other endocrine organ in the body, and plays a central role in the coordination of metabolism. Its location within the intestinal epithelium enables it to sample and respond to the availability of nutrients in the external (luminal) environment. The potential for exploiting the enteroendocrine system therapeutically is increasingly recognised. Dr Reimann and Professor Gribble have worked towards characterising signalling pathways in enteroendocrine cells (EEC), but recognise that there are still gaps in the knowledge of how the enteroendocrine axis operates in a physiological setting. They propose to identify diversity in the EEC population influencing the effectiveness of dietary and pharmacological stimuli, and to explore the biology of a newly identified orexigenic gut hormone. Defining the basis for the variability of gut hormone responses in humans and establishing methodology to monitor activity of primary human EEC will open new avenues for studies.