The roles of gastrointestinal hormones


Project Details

The roles of gastrointestinal hormones:

A: Heterogeneity of hormones in enteroendocrine cells studied at a cellular and subcellular level and
B: The innervation of gastric hormone cells

series of figures depicting the colocalisation of the gut hormones, 5-HT, secretin and cholecystokinin in enteroendocrine cells of the duodenum
Figure 1: The colocalisation of the gut hormones, 5-HT, secretin and cholecystokinin in enteroendocrine cells of the duodenum (see Fothergill et al, 2017)

There is a huge resurgence of interest in gut hormones, the products of enteroendocrine cells of the gastrointestinal tract.  Along with this is a revolution in the understanding of the patterns of colocalisation of the hormones to which our laboratory has made substantial contributions. We have discovered complex patterns of colocalisation of hormones that differ considerably between species (e.g., Cho et al, 2015).  In particular, the distributions and patterns of colocalisation in human differs considerably from that in other species (Martins et al, 2017; Fakhry et al, 2017). We have also discovered that hormones colocalised in the same cells are located in separate storage vesicles (Cho et al, 2014; Fothergill et al, 2017).  Current experiments are aimed at further exploration of the patterns of colocalisation and the investigation of their physiological significance.


Dr Shanti Diwakarla
Dr Brid Callaghan
Ms Billie Hunne
Ms Linda Fothergill
Ms Josiane Fakhry
Ms Tess Coles

Research Publications

  • Diwakarla, S, Fothergill LJ, Fakhry J, Callaghan B, Furness JB. Heterogeneity of enterochromaffin cells within the gastrointestinal tract.  Neurogastroenterol Motil Accepted April  2017.
  • Fakhry J, Wang J, Martins P, Fothergill LJ, Hunne B, Prieur P, Shulkes A, Rehfeld JF, Callaghan B, Furness JB. Distribution and characterisation of CCK containing enteroendocrine cells of the mouse small and large intestine.  Cell Tissue Res 2017; published on line doi:10.1007/s00441-017-2612-1.
  • Fothergill LJ, Callaghan B, Hunne B, Bravo DM, Furness JB. Co-storage of enteroendocrine hormones evaluated at the cell and subcellular levels in male mice.  Endocrinology In Press April 2017
  • Martins P, Fakhry J, Chaves de Oliveira E, Hunne B, Fothergill LJ, Ringuet M, d’Ávila Reis D, Rehfeld JF, Callaghan B, Furness JB. Analysis of enteroendocrine cell populations in the human colon.  Cell Tissue Res 2017; 367: 361-368. doi:10.1007/s00441-016-2530-7.
  • Fothergill LJ, Callaghan B, Rivera LR, Lieu TM, Poole DP, Cho H-J, Bravo DM, Furness JB. Effects of food components that activate TRPA1 receptors on mucosal ion transport in the mouse intestine.  Nutrients 2016; 623: 1-11.  doi:10.3390/nu8100623.
  • Reynaud Y, Fakhry J, Fothergill LJ, Callaghan B, Ringuet M, Hunne B, Bravo DM, Furness JB. The chemical coding of 5-hydroxytryptamine containing enteroendocrine cells in the mouse gastrointestinal tract. Cell Tissue Res 2016; 364: 489-497.
  • Cho HJ, Kosari S, Hunne B, Callaghan B, Rivera LR, Bravo DM, Furness JB. Differences in hormone expression patterns of K-L enteroendocrine cells in the mouse and pig small intestine and colon.  Cell Tissue Res 2015; 359: 693-698.
  • Cho H-J, Callaghan B, Bron R, Bravo DM, Furness JB. Identification of enteroendocrine cells that express TRPA1 channels in the mouse intestine.  Cell and Tissue Res 2014; 356: 77-82.
  • Cho H-J, Robinson ES, Rivera LR, McMillan PJ, Testro A, Nikfarjam M, Bravo DM, Furness JB. Glucagon like peptide 1 and peptide YY are in separate storage organelles in enteroendocrine cells.  Cell and Tissue Res 2014; 357: 63-69.
  • Furness JB, Rivera LR, Cho H-J, Brav DM, Callaghan, B. The gut as a sensory organ. Nature Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013; 10: 729-740.

Research Group

Furness laboratory: Digestive physiology and nutrition

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Infection & Immunity, Cell Signalling, Systems Biology, Therapeutics & Translation

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Anatomy and Neuroscience

Unit / Centre

Furness laboratory: Digestive physiology and nutrition

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