Gut hormone secretion by enteroendocrine cells in human ileum and colon

Author: Emily Sun

Sun, Emily, 2018 Gut hormone secretion by enteroendocrine cells in human ileum and colon, Flinders University, College of Medicine and Public Health

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


Type 2 diabetes (T2D), a metabolic disease strongly associated with obesity, represents a tremendous burden on healthcare systems worldwide. The curative effect of bariatric surgery indicates T2D pathogenesis has a significant gastrointestinal component. Enteroendocrine cells (EECs) are specialized endocrine cells dispersed throughout the gut epithelium and collectively constitute the largest endocrine organ in the body. Although gut hormones are implicated in maintaining glucose homeostasis and energy balance, our understanding of the mechanisms governing their secretion in humans remains largely incomplete.This work aimed to elucidate some of the regulatory pathways that govern the release of the gut hormones, glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY from L cells, a subtype of enteroendocrine cells dispersed throughout the gut epithelium.Having first developed an ex vivo secretion assay using human gut tissue, I demonstrated that many pathways govern L cell secretion exist in humans, although some major differences were also observed to those observed in rodents. The platform was also used to confirm recent findings of gut-derived glucagon, which could represent a new potential therapeutic target for treating T2D.

Keywords: enteroendocrine, glucagon-like peptide 1, peptide YY, glucagon

Subject: Human Physiology thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2018
School: College of Medicine and Public Health
Supervisor: Damien Keating