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Papers of the Week

2022 Oct 14




Involvement of Intestinal Enteroendocrine Cells in Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders.


Neurological and psychiatric patients have increased dramatically in number in the past few decades. However, effective treatments for these diseases and disorders are limited due to heterogeneous and unclear pathogenic mechanisms. Therefore, further exploration of the biological aspects of the disease, and the identification of novel targets to develop alternative treatment strategies, is urgently required. Systems-level investigations have indicated the potential involvement of the brain-gut axis and intestinal microbiota in the pathogenesis and regulation of neurological and psychiatric disorders. While intestinal microbiota is crucial for maintaining host physiology, some important sensory and regulatory cells in the host should not be overlooked. Intestinal epithelial enteroendocrine cells (EECs) residing in the epithelium throughout intestine are the key regulators orchestrating the communication along the brain-gut-microbiota axis. On one hand, EECs sense changes in luminal microorganisms via microbial metabolites; on the other hand, they communicate with host body systems via neuroendocrine molecules. Therefore, EECs are believed to play important roles in neurological and psychiatric disorders. This review highlights the involvement of EECs and subtype cells, via secretion of endocrine molecules, in the development and regulation of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD), schizophrenia, visceral pain, neuropathic pain, and depression. Moreover, the current paper summarizes the potential mechanism of EECs in contributing to disease pathogenesis. Examination of these mechanisms may inspire and lead to the development of new aspects of treatment strategies for neurological and psychiatric disorders in the future.