Ileal brake: neuropeptidergic control of intestinal transit

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2006 Oct;8(5):367-73. doi: 10.1007/s11894-006-0021-9.


Digestion and absorption of a meal are time-intensive processes. To optimize digestion and absorption, transit of the meal through the gastrointestinal tract is regulated by a complex integration of neuropeptidergic signals generated as the jejunal brake and ileal brake response to nutrients. Mediators involved in the slowing of transit responses include peptide YY (PYY), chemosensitive afferent neurons, intestinofugal nerves, noradrenergic nerves, myenteric serotonergic neurons, and opioid neurons. The activation of this circuitry modifies the peristaltic reflex to convert the intestinal motility pattern from propagative to segmenting. Fat is the most potent trigger of these transit control mechanisms. The integrated circuitry of gut peptides and neurons involved in transit control in response to nutrients is described in this review.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Digestion / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ileum / physiology*
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects
  • Intestinal Absorption / physiology*
  • Jejunum / physiology
  • Postprandial Period / physiology
  • Serotonin / pharmacology
  • Short Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Serotonin