Alterations in GLP-1 and PYY release with aging and body mass in the human gut

Lauren A. Jones, Emily W. Sun, Amanda L. Lumsden, Daniel W. Thorpe, Rochelle A. Peterson, Dayan De Fontgalland, Luigi Sposato, Philippa Rabbitt, Paul Hollington, David A. Wattchow, Damien J. Keating

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The lining of our intestinal surface contains an array of hormone-producing cells that are collectively our bodies’ largest endocrine cell reservoir. These “enteroendocrine” (EE) cells reside amongst the billions of absorptive epithelial and other cell types that line our gastrointestinal tract and can sense and respond to the ever-changing internal environment in our gut. EE cells release an array of important signalling molecules that can act as hormones, including glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY) which are co-secreted from L cells. While much is known about the effects of these hormones on metabolism, insulin secretion and food intake, less is understood about their secretion from human intestinal tissue. In this study we assess whether GLP-1 and PYY release differs across human small and large intestinal tissue locations within the gastrointestinal tract, and/or by sex, body weight and the age of an individual. We identify that the release of both hormones is greater in more distal regions of the human colon, but is not different between sexes. We observe a negative correlation of GLP-1 and BMI in the small, but not large, intestine. Increased aging correlates with declining secretion of both GLP-1 and PYY in human large, but not small, intestine. When the data for large intestine is isolated by region, this relationship with age remains significant for GLP-1 in the ascending and descending colon and in the descending colon for PYY. This is the first demonstration that site-specific differences in GLP-1 and PYY release occur in human gut, as do site-specific relationships of L cell secretion with aging and body mass.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112072
Number of pages6
Early online date20 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Age
  • Body mass
  • GLP-1
  • Human
  • L cells
  • PYY


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