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Can We Harness Intestinal Cells to Treat Endocrine Disorders?

By February 2, 2022No Comments

Enteroendocrine cells punch above their weight. Comprising just about 1 percent of intestinal cells, they produce, as a group, around 15 different hormones. These not only regulate intestinal function and digestion, but also influence metabolic functions like insulin secretion and appetite regulation.

A new technology platform developed at Boston Children’s could set the stage for tapping enteroendocrine (EE) cells to reverse diabetes, obesity, and gastrointestinal conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Described in the journal Nature Communications, the platform is designed to identify drugs that could expand EE numbers, get them to produce more of the needed hormones, or both.