Interactions of Gut Endocrine Cells with Epithelium and Neurons.
Even the simplest animals possess sophisticated systems for sensing and securing nutrients. After all, ensuring adequate nutrition is essential for sustaining life. Once multicellular animals grew too large to be nourished by simple diffusion of nutrients from their environment, they required a digestive system for the absorption and digestion of food. The majority of cells in the digestive tract are enterocytes that are designed to absorb nutrients. However, the digestive tracts of animals ranging from worms to humans contain specialized cells that discriminate between nutrients and nondigestible ingestants. These cells "sense" both the environment within the gut lumen and nutrients as they cross the gut epithelium. This dual sensing is then translated into local signals that regulate the gut epithelium or distant signals through hormones or nerves. This review will discuss how sensors of the gut interact with cells of the epithelium and neurons to regulate epithelial integrity and initiate neural transmission from the gut lumen. © 2017 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 8:1019-1030, 2018.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)