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Enteroendocrine cells-sensory sentinels of the intestinal environment and orchestrators of mucosal immunity

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Mucosal Immunology
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)3-20
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/08/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The intestinal epithelium must balance efficient absorption of nutrients with partitioning commensals and pathogens from the bodies’ largest immune system. If this crucial barrier fails, inappropriate immune responses can result in inflammatory bowel disease or chronic infection. Enteroendocrine cells represent 1% of this epithelium and have classically been studied for their detection of nutrients and release of peptide hormones to mediate digestion. Intriguingly, enteroendocrine cells are the key sensors of microbial metabolites, can release cytokines in response to pathogen associated molecules and peptide hormone receptors are expressed on numerous intestinal immune cells; thus enteroendocrine cells are uniquely equipped to be crucial and novel orchestrators of intestinal inflammation. In this review, we introduce enteroendocrine chemosensory roles, summarize studies correlating enteroendocrine perturbations with intestinal inflammation and describe the mechanistic interactions by which enteroendocrine and mucosal immune cells interact during disease; highlighting this immunoendocrine axis as a key aspect of innate immunity.

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© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.