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Gastroenterology: Enteroendocrine cells in the gut needed for optimal postnatal survival

Date:
April 1, 2010
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Enteroendocrine cells are cells found in the wall of the gut that secrete hormones that regulate numerous processes in the body, including controlling glucose levels, food intake, and stomach emptying. There are at least ten types of enteroendocrine cell and it has been hard to determine the exact role of each cell type and hormone they secrete because many of the hormones have partially overlapping functions. However, researchers have now generated mice lacking all enteroendocrine cells and hormones by deleting the gene Ngn3 and found that a lack of these cells leads to a high chance of dying during the first week of life.

Enteroendocrine cells are cells found in the wall of the gut that secrete hormones that regulate numerous processes in the body, including controlling glucose levels, food intake, and stomach emptying. There are at least ten types of enteroendocrine cell and it has been hard to determine the exact role of each cell type and hormone they secrete because many of the hormones have partially overlapping functions.

However, a team of researchers, led by Georg Mellitzer and Gérard Gradwohl, at INSERM U964, Université de Strasbourg, France, has now generated mice lacking all enteroendocrine cells and hormones by deleting the gene Ngn3 and found that a lack of these cells leads to a high chance of dying during the first week of life. Surviving mice were smaller than normal littermates, had soft stool, and were impaired in their ability to absorb fat in the intestines.

The clinical relevance of these data are highlighted by the recent identification of several patients with NGN3 gene mutations who show an almost complete lack of all enteroendocrine cells and suffer, from the first days of life, from malabsorptive chronic diarrhea.

The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Georg Mellitzer, Anthony Beucher, Viviane Lobstein, Pascal Michel, Sylvie Robine, Michèle Kedinger and Gérard Gradwohl. Loss of enteroendocrine cells in mice alters lipid absorption and glucose homeostasis and impairs postnatal survival. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI40794

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Gastroenterology: Enteroendocrine cells in the gut needed for optimal postnatal survival." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401220734.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2010, April 1). Gastroenterology: Enteroendocrine cells in the gut needed for optimal postnatal survival. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401220734.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Gastroenterology: Enteroendocrine cells in the gut needed for optimal postnatal survival." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401220734.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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