A gut-brain neural circuit for nutrient sensory transduction.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The brain is thought to sense gut stimuli only via the passive release of hormones. This is because no connection has been described between the vagus and the putative gut epithelial sensor cell-the enteroendocrine cell. However, these electrically excitable cells contain several features of epithelial transducers. Using a mouse model, we found that enteroendocrine cells synapse with vagal neurons to transduce gut luminal signals in milliseconds by using glutamate as a neurotransmitter. These synaptically connected enteroendocrine cells are referred to henceforth as neuropod cells. The neuroepithelial circuit they form connects the intestinal lumen to the brainstem in one synapse, opening a physical conduit for the brain to sense gut stimuli with the temporal precision and topographical resolution of a synapse.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kaelberer, MM; Buchanan, KL; Klein, ME; Barth, BB; Montoya, MM; Shen, X; Bohórquez, DV

Published Date

  • September 21, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 361 / 6408

PubMed ID

  • 30237325

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6417812

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.aat5236


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States