Type 1 Diabetes and Dysfunctional Intestinal Homeostasis

Francesca D'Addio, Paolo Fiorina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the relatively high frequency of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders in individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D), termed diabetic enteropathy (DE), the pathogenic mechanisms of these disorders remain to be elucidated. While previous studies have assumed that DE is a manifestation of diabetic autonomic neuropathy, other contributing factors such as enteric hormones, inflammation, and microbiota were later recognized. More recently, the emerging role of intestinal stem cells (ISCs) in several GI diseases has led to a new understanding of DE. Given the absence of diagnostic methods and the lack of broadly efficacious therapeutic remedies in DE, targeting factors and pathways that control ISC homeostasis and are dysfunctional in DE may represent a new path for the detection and cure of DE. Diabetes is a multiorgan disease that also targets the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, leading to the development of diabetic enteropathy (DE).DE is poorly characterized thus far, despite its high frequency in both type 1 and type 2 diabetic individuals.Recent evidence suggests that DE as well as other GI diseases may arise due to an alteration in intestinal stem cell (ISC) homeostasis.Because few diagnostic and therapeutic approaches are available in DE, targeting novel mechanisms of disease such as disruption of ISCs is essential.Considering the difficulties encountered by cell therapy, targeting hormonal-like axes that control ISCs and their homeostasis, such as with ecto-TMEM219, may represent a novel strategy to treat GI diseases and DE.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Circulating enterotrophic hormones
  • Diabetic enteropathy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Intestinal stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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