Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Helping Hormones

Intestinal cell type that produce hormones derived from stem cells in a lab-grown model

15 April 2022

Helping Hormones

Almost every aspect of your physiology, from mood to digestion, is in some way influenced by hormones regulating countless biological processes around the body. Enteroendocrine cells in the intestine are our most abundant hormone-producers, churning out around 15 different types. Researchers hope that this producing power might be harnessed to boost levels of hormones that encourage healthy processes or recovery from illness. In a new study, they collected intestinal stem cells, starter cells capable of developing into other cell types, from patients and used them to create organoids – mini structures replicating the biology of organs – housing many hormone-producing cells. Experiments using these organoids (pictured) as a platform for testing new drugs found three chemicals that boosted hormone production and enteroendocrine cell growth. The next step is boosting production of specific hormones like insulin or appetite regulators to tackle diabetes and obesity, and put the power of hormones to good use.

Written by Anthony Lewis

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.