Expression of cholecystokinin and its receptors in the intestinal tract of type 2 diabetes patients and healthy controls

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a gut hormone originally known for its effects on gallbladder contraction and release of digestive enzymes. CCK, however, also mediates satiety and stimulate insulin secretion. Knowledge of the distribution of CCK-producing enteroendocrine cells (I cells) in humans is sparse. The general notion, based on animal data, is that I cells are present mainly in the proximal small intestine. We examined the occurrence of I cells (immunohistochemically) and the expression of CCK messenger RNA (mRNA) as well as CCK1 and CCK2 receptor mRNA along the intestines in healthy individuals and patients with type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: Mucosal biopsies collected with 30-cm intervals in the small intestine and from seven anatomical locations in the large intestine (using double-balloon enteroscopy) from 12 patients with type 2 diabetes and 12 gender-, age-, and body mass index-matched healthy individuals were analyzed using mRNA sequencing and immunohistochemical staining.

RESULTS: We observed a gradual decrease in CCK mRNA expression and density of CCK-immunoreactive cells from duodenum to ileum. Very few CCK-immunoreactive cells and nearly undetectable CCK mRNA expression were found in the large intestine. No significant differences were seen between the groups. Expression of CCK receptors was observed in the duodenum of both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Both density of CCK cells and expression of CCK mRNA decreased through the small intestine in both groups with low levels in the large intestine. Patients with type 2 diabetes did not have altered density of CCK cells or expression of CCK mRNA in intestinal mucosa.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2164-2170
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2021


  • cholecystokinin receptor
  • cholecystokinin, CCK
  • enteroendocrine cells
  • immunohistochemistry
  • mRNA expression
  • type 2 diabetes


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