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