The gastrointestinal hormones (or gut hormones) constitute a group of hormones secreted by enteroendocrine cells in the stomach, pancreas, and small intestine that control various functions of the digestive organs. Later
studies showed that most of the gut peptides, such as secretin, cholecystokinin or substance P, were found to play a role of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in the central and peripheral nervous systems.
Enteroendocrine cells do not form endocrine glands but are spread throughout the digestive tract. They exert their autocrine and paracrine actions that integrate all of gastrointestinal function.
Types of Gastrointestinal hormones
The gastrointestinal hormones can be divided into three main groups based upon their chemical structure.
Ghrelin is a peptide hormone released from the stomach and liver and is often referred to as the "hunger hormone" since high levels of it are found in individuals that are fasting. Ghrelin agonistic treatments can be used to treat illnesses such as anorexia and loss of appetites in cancer patients. Ghrelin treatments for obesity are still under intense scrutiny and no conclusive evidence has been reached. This hormone stimulates growth hormone release.
Amylin controls glucose homeostasis and gastric motility
Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide possesses an acute influence on food intake through its effects on adipocytes
Oxyntomodulin plays a role in controlling acid secretion and satiation
Characteristics of Prominent Forms of Principal Gut Regulatory Peptides
|| Molecular Weight (Da)
|| No. of Amino Acids
|| Main Gut Localization
|| Principal Physiologic Actions
| Gastrin Family
|| 33 (also 385, 59)
|| Duodenum and jejunum, Enteric nerves
|| Stimulates gallbladder contraction and intestinal motility; stimulates secretion of pancreatic enzymes, insulin, glucagon, and pancreatic polypeptides; has a role in indicating satiety; the C-terminal 8 amino acid peptide cholecystokinin (CCK)-8 retains full activity
| Little gastrin
||Both forms of gastrin are found in the gastric antrum and duodenum
||Gastrins stimulate the secretion of gastric acid, pepsinogen, intrinsic factor, and secretin; stimulate intestinal mucosal growth; increase gastric and intestinal motility
| Big gastrin
| Secretin-Glucagon Family
|| Duodenum and jejunum
|| Stimulates pancreatic secretion of HCO3, enzymes and insulin; reduces gastric and duodenal motility, inhibits gastrin release and gastric acid secretion
| Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)
|| Enteric nerves
|| Relaxes smooth muscle of gut, blood, and genitourinary system; increases water and electrolyte secretion from pancreas and gut; releases hormones from pancreas, gut, and hypothalamus
| Glucose-dependent insulinotropic
|| Duodenum and jejunum
|| Stimulates insulin release; reduces gastric and intestinal motility; increases fluid and electrolyte secretion from small intestine
- ^ Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, Bruns DE. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 5th edition. Elsevier Saunders. p. 1719. ISBN 978-1-4160-6164-9.
- ^ Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, Bruns DE. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 5th edition. Elsevier Saunders. p. 1720. ISBN 978-1-4160-6164-9.