Enterochromaffin cell hyperplasia in the gut: Factors, mechanism and therapeutic clues

Hong Yan Qin, Hoi Leong Xavier Wong, Kai Hong Zang, Xun Li*, Zhao Xiang Bian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Enterochromaffin (EC) cell is the main cell type that responsible for 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) synthesis, storage and release of the gut. Intestinal 5-HT play a key role in visceral sensation, intestinal motility and permeability, EC cell hyperplasia and increased 5-HT bioavailability in the gut have been found to be involved in the symptoms generation of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. EC cells originate from intestinal stem cells, the interaction between proliferation and differentiation signals on intestinal stem cells enable EC cell number to be regulated in a normal level. This review focuses on the impact factors, pathogenesis mechanisms, and therapeutic clues for intestinal EC cells hyperplasia, and showed that EC cell hyperplasia was observed under the condition of physiological stress, intestinal infection or intestinal inflammation, the disordered proliferation and/or differentiation of intestinal stem cells as well as their progenitor cells all contribute to the pathogenesis of intestinal EC cell hyperplasia. The altered intestinal niche, i.e. increased corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) signal, elevated nerve growth factor (NGF) signal, and Th2-dominant cytokines production, has been found to have close correlation with intestinal EC cell hyperplasia. Currently, CRF receptor antagonist, nuclear factor-κB inhibitor, and NGF receptor neutralizing antibody have been proved useful to attenuate intestinal EC cell hyperplasia, which may provide a promising clue for the therapeutic strategy in EC cell hyperplasia related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116886
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Early-life stress
  • Enterochromaffin cell
  • Hyperplasia
  • Infection
  • Inflammation


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