Gut-Brain Communication in Parkinson's Disease: Enteroendocrine Regulation by GLP-1

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2022 Jul;22(7):335-342. doi: 10.1007/s11910-022-01196-5. Epub 2022 May 28.


Purpose of review: Defective gut-brain communication has recently been proposed as a promoter of neurodegeneration, but mechanisms mediating communication remain elusive. In particular, the Parkinson's disease (PD) phenotype has been associated with both dysbiosis of intestinal microbiota and neuroinflammation. Here, we review recent advances in the PD field that connect these two concepts, providing an explanation based on enteroendocrine signaling from the gut to the brain.

Recent findings: There have been several recent accounts highlighting the importance of the microbiota-gut-brain axis in PD. The objective of this review is to discuss the role of the neuroendocrine system in gut-brain communication as it relates to PD pathogenesis, as this system has not been comprehensively considered in prior reviews. The incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is secreted by enteroendocrine cells of the intestinal epithelium, and there is evidence that it is neuroprotective in animal models and human subjects with PD. Agonists of GLP-1 receptors used in diabetes appear to be useful for preventing neurodegeneration. New tools and models have enabled us to study regulation of GLP-1 secretion by intestinal microbiota, to understand how this process may be defective in PD, and to develop methods for therapeutically modifying disease development or progression using the enteroendocrine system. GLP-1 secretion by enteroendocrine cells may be a key mediator of neuroprotection in PD, and new findings in this field may offer unique insights into PD pathogenesis and therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: Enteroendocrine; Glucagon-like peptide 1; Gut-brain communication; Parkinson’s disease.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain-Gut Axis*
  • Dysbiosis
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neurosecretory Systems* / physiology
  • Parkinson Disease* / physiopathology


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1