Mechanisms controlling hormone secretion in human gut and its relevance to metabolism

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The homoeostatic regulation of metabolism is highly complex and involves multiple inputs from both the nervous and endocrine systems. The gut is the largest endocrine organ in our body and synthesises and secretes over 20 different hormones from enteroendocrine cells that are dispersed throughout the gut epithelium. These hormones include GLP-1, PYY, GIP, serotonin, and CCK, each of which play pivotal roles in maintaining energy balance and glucose homeostasis. Some are now the basis of several clinically used glucose-lowering and weight loss therapies. The environment in which these enteroendocrine cells exist is also complex, as they are exposed to numerous physiological inputs including ingested nutrients, circulating factors and metabolites produced from neighbouring gut microbiome. In this review, we examine the diverse means by which gut-derived hormones carry out their metabolic functions through their interactions with different metabolically important organs including the liver, pancreas, adipose tissue and brain. Furthermore, we discuss how nutrients and microbial metabolites affect gut hormone secretion and the mechanisms underlying these interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1-R15
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of endocrinology
Issue number1
Early online date29 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • hormone secretion
  • human gut
  • metabolism
  • endocrine system
  • GLP-1
  • PYY
  • serotonin
  • CCK
  • GIP
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • microbiome
  • liver
  • pancreas
  • adipose
  • Obesity
  • Adipose tissue
  • Serotonin
  • Liver
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreas
  • Microbiome


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