Worldwide, the incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is rapidly increasing, primarily because of its strong link with obesity. T2D is associated with a range of complications, including micro- and macrovascular diseases that are due to poorly controlled blood glucose levels and ultimately shorten life expectancy. Thus, new therapeutic strategies are needed urgently to better control blood glucose levels in patients with T2D and prevent the development and the progression of associated complications. The gastrointestinal tract is a vast organ hosting a broad spectrum of hormone secreting cells that constitutes the enteroendocrine cells (EECs) system. The EECs produce gastrointestinal hormones or peptides in response to various stimuli and release them into the bloodstream to orchestrate the homeostatic balance of the body in response to the gastrointestinal luminal content. In this proposal, we plan to investigate the physiology and pathophysiology of the EECs system, with particular focus on the hormone Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). A better understanding of the physiology of EECs and their involvement in a variety of physiological pathways and pathophysiological phenomenon will likely provide a strong platform for future therapeutics designed to address the morbidity of chronic metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

This work was supported by Diabetes Australia