The etiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is unknown, but several factors appear to play a role in its pathophysiology, including abnormalities of the gastrointestinal endocrine cells. The present review illuminates the possible role of gastrointestinal hormones in the pathophysiology of IBS and the possibility of utilizing the current knowledge in treating the disease. Areas covered: Research into the intestinal endocrine cells and their possible role in the pathophysiology of IBS is discussed. Furthermore, the mechanisms underlying the abnormalities in the gastrointestinal endocrine cells in IBS patients are revealed. Expert commentary: The abnormalities observed in the gastrointestinal endocrine cells in IBS patients explains their visceral hypersensitivity, gastrointestinal dysmotility, and abnormal intestinal secretion, as well as the interchangeability of symptoms over time. Clarifying the role of the intestinal stem cells in the pathophysiology of IBS may lead to new treatment methods for IBS.
The possible role of gastrointestinal endocrine cells in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome.