The microbial community of the gut conveys significant benefits to host physiology. A clear relationship has now been established between gut bacteria and host metabolism in which microbial-mediated gut hormone release plays an important role. Within the gut lumen, bacteria produce a number of metabolites and contain structural components that act as signaling molecules to a number of cell types within the mucosa. Enteroendocrine cells within the mucosal lining of the gut synthesize and secrete a number of hormones including CCK, PYY, GLP-1, GIP, and 5-HT, which have regulatory roles in key metabolic processes such as insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, fat storage, and appetite. Release of these hormones can be influenced by the presence of bacteria and their metabolites within the gut and as such, microbial-mediated gut hormone release is an important component of microbial regulation of host metabolism. Dietary or pharmacological interventions which alter the gut microbiome therefore pose as potential therapeutics for the treatment of human metabolic disorders. This review aims to describe the complex interaction between intestinal microbiota and their metabolites and gut enteroendocrine cells, and highlight how the gut microbiome can influence host metabolism through the regulation of gut hormone release.
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- Enteroendocrine cells