Cross-Species Comparison of Genes Related to Nutrient Sensing Mechanisms Expressed along the Intestine

N. van der Wielen, M. van Avesaat, N.J.W. de Wit, J. Vogels, F. Troost, A. Masclee, S.J. Koopmans, J. van der Meulen, M.V. Boekschoten, M.R. Müller, H.F.J. Hendriks, R.F. Witkamp, J. Meijerink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Intestinal chemosensory receptors and transporters are able to detect food-derived molecules and are involved in the modulation of gut hormone release. Gut hormones play an important role in the regulation of food intake and the control of gastrointestinal functioning. This mechanism is often referred to as “nutrient sensing”. Knowledge of the distribution of chemosensors along the intestinal tract is important to gain insight in nutrient detection and sensing, both pivotal processes for the regulation of food intake. However, most knowledge is derived from rodents, whereas studies in man and pig are limited, and cross-species comparisons are lacking. Aim To characterize and compare intestinal expression patterns of genes related to nutrient sensing in mice, pigs and humans. Methods Mucosal biopsy samples taken at six locations in human intestine (n = 40) were analyzed by qPCR. Intestinal scrapings from 14 locations in pigs (n = 6) and from 10 locations in mice (n = 4) were analyzed by qPCR and microarray, respectively. The gene expression of glucagon, cholecystokinin, peptide YY, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor, taste receptor T1R3, sodium/glucose cotransporter, peptide transporter-1, GPR120, taste receptor T1R1, GPR119 and GPR93 was investigated. Partial least squares (PLS) modeling was used to compare the intestinal expression pattern between the three species. Results and conclusion The studied genes were found to display specific expression patterns along the intestinal tract. PLS analysis showed a high similarity between human, pig and mouse in the expression of genes related to nutrient sensing in the distal ileum, and between human and pig in the colon. The gene expression pattern was most deviating between the species in the proximal intestine. Our results give new insights in interspecies similarities and provide new leads for translational research and models aiming to modulate food intake processes in man.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere107531
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • glucagon-like peptide-1
  • h+/peptide transporter pept1
  • glucose cotransporter sglt1
  • dietary-regulation
  • molecular-mechanisms
  • receptor expression
  • sucrase-isomaltase
  • hormone-secretion
  • taste receptors
  • induced obesity


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