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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2013 Dec;13(6):912-21. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2013.09.018. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Enteroendocrine cell types revisited.

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Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, Section for Metabolic Receptology and Enteroendocrinology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


The GI-tract is profoundly involved in the control of metabolism through peptide hormones secreted from enteroendocrine cells scattered throughout the gut mucosa. A large number of recently generated transgenic reporter mice have allowed for direct characterization of biochemical and cell biological properties of these previously highly elusive enteroendocrine cells. In particular the surprisingly broad co-expression of six functionally related hormones in the intestinal enteroendocrine cells indicates that it should be possible to control not only the hormone secretion but also the type and number of enteroendocrine cells. However, this will require a more deep understanding of the factors controlling differentiation, gene expression and specification of the enteroendocrine cells during their weekly renewal from progenitor cells in the crypts of the mucosa.

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