Gastrointestinal (GI) hormones are chemical messengers that regulate the physiological functions of the intestine and pancreas, including secretion, motility, absorption, and digestion. In addition to these well-defined physiological effects, GI hormones can stimulate proliferation of the nonneoplastic intestinal mucosa and pancreas. Furthermore, in an analogous fashion to breast and prostate cancer, certain GI cancers possess receptors for GI hormones; growth can be altered by administration of these hormones or by blocking their respective receptors. The GI hormones that affect proliferation, either stimulatory or inhibitory, include gastrin, cholecystokinin, gastrin-releasing peptide, neurotensin, peptide YY, glucagon-like peptide-2, and somatostatin. The effects of these peptides on normal and neoplastic GI tissues will be described. Also, future perspectives and potential therapeutic implications will be discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism