Nutrient sensing in the gastrointestinal tract: Possible role for nutrient transporters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Although it is well established that the presence of nutrients in the gut lumen can bring about changes in GI function, the mechanisms and pathways by which these changes occur has not been fully elucidated. It has been known for many years that luminal nutrients stimulate the release of hormones and regulatory peptides from gut endocrine cells and that luminal nutrients activate intrinsic and extrinsic neural pathways innervating the gut. Activation of gut endocrine cells and neural pathways by nutrients in the gut lumen is key in coordination of postprandial GI function and also in the regulation of food intake. Recent evidence suggests that these pathways can be modified by long term changes in diet or by inflammatory processes in the gut wall. Thus it is important to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these processes not only to increase our understanding of as part of basic physiology but also to understand changes in these pathways that occur in the presence of pathophysiology and disease. This review summarizes some of the latest data that we have obtained, together with information from the other laboratories, which have elucidated some of the mechanisms involved in nutrient detection in the gut wall. The focus is on monosaccharides and protein hydrolysates as there is some evidence for a role for nutrient transporters in detection of these nutrients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • GI function
  • Glucose sensing
  • Luminal nutrients
  • Protein sensing
  • Transporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry


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