Enteroendocrine Cells: Sensing Gut Microbiota and Regulating Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Yanbo Yu, Wenjing Yang, Yanqing Li, Yingzi Cong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Host sensing in the gut microbiota has been crucial in the regulation of intestinal homeostasis. Although inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), multifactorial chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, have been associated with intestinal dysbiosis, the detailed interactions between host and gut microbiota are still not completely understood. Enteroendocrine cells (EECs) represent 1% of the intestinal epithelium. Accumulating evidence indicates that EECs are key sensors of gut microbiota and/or microbial metabolites. They can secrete cytokines and peptide hormones in response to microbiota, either in traditional endocrine regulation or by paracrine impact on proximal tissues and/or cells or via afferent nerve fibers. Enteroendocrine cells also play crucial roles in mucosal immunity, gut barrier function, visceral hyperalgesia, and gastrointestinal (GI) motility, thereby regulating several GI diseases, including IBD. In this review, we will focus on EECs in sensing microbiota, correlating enteroendocrine perturbations with IBD, and the underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • enteroendocrine cells
  • gut dysfunction
  • gut microbiota
  • immune system
  • inflammatory bowel disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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