Gastrointestinal hormones: Edited by Robert LoweEnteroendocrine cells: a site of ‘taste’ in gastrointestinal chemosensingSternini, Catiaa,b; Anselmi, Lauraa; Rozengurt, EnriqueaAuthor Information aDivision of Digestive Diseases and CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Center, and Departments of Medicine, USA bNeurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA Correspondence to Catia Sternini, CURE Bldg 115, Room 224, VAGLAHS, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA Tel: +1 310 312 9477; fax: +1 310 268 4615; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity: February 2008 - Volume 15 - Issue 1 - p 73-78 doi: 10.1097/MED.0b013e3282f43a73 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review This review discusses the role of enteroendocrine cells of the gastrointestinal tract as chemoreceptors that sense lumen contents and induce changes in gastrointestinal function and food intake through the release of signaling substances acting on a variety of targets locally or at a distance. Recent findings Recent evidence supports the concept that chemosensing in the gut involves G protein-coupled receptors and effectors that are known to mediate gustatory signals in the oral cavity. These include sweet-taste and bitter-taste receptors, and their associated G proteins, which are expressed in the gastrointestinal mucosa, including selected populations of enteroendocrine cells. In addition, taste receptor agonists elicit a secretory response in enteroendocrine cells in vitro and in animals in vivo, and induce neuronal activation. Summary Taste-signaling molecules expressed in the gastrointestinal mucosa might participate in the functional detection of nutrients and harmful substances in the lumen and prepare the gut to absorb them or initiate a protective response. They might also participate in the control of food intake through the activation of gut–brain neural pathways. These findings provide a new dimension to unraveling the regulatory circuits initiated by luminal contents of the gastrointestinal tract. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.