Possible role of peptide YY (PYY) in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Neuropeptides. 2020 Feb;79:101973. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2019.101973. Epub 2019 Oct 24.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder of unknown aetiology for which there is no effective treatment. Although IBS does not increase mortality, it reduces the quality of life and is an economic burden to both the patients themselves and society as a whole. Peptide YY (PYY) is localized in endocrine cells located in the ileum, colon and rectum. The concentration of PYY and the density of PYY cells are decreased in both the colon and rectum but unchanged in the ileum of patients with IBS. The low density of PYY cells in the large intestine may be caused by a decreased number of stem cells and their progeny toward endocrine cells. PYY regulates the intestinal motility, secretion and absorption as well as visceral sensitivity via modulating serotonin release. An abnormality in PYY may therefore contribute to the intestinal dysmotility and visceral hypersensitivity seen in IBS patients. Diet management involving consuming a low-FODMAP diet restores the density of PYY cells in the large intestine and improves abdominal symptoms in patients with IBS. This review shows that diet management appears to be a valuable tool for correcting the PYY abnormalities in the large intestine of IBS patients in the clinic.

Keywords: IBS; Motility; NPY; Secretion, stem cells; Visceral hypersensitivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / physiopathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Peptide YY / metabolism*
  • Quality of Life
  • Serotonin / metabolism


  • Peptide YY
  • Serotonin