Neuropod Cells: The Emerging Biology of Gut-Brain Sensory Transduction.
Guided by sight, scent, texture, and taste, animals ingest food. Once ingested, it is up to the gut to make sense of the food's nutritional value. Classic sensory systems rely on neuroepithelial circuits to convert stimuli into signals that guide behavior. However, sensation of the gut milieu was thought to be mediated only by the passive release of hormones until the discovery of synapses in enteroendocrine cells. These are gut sensory epithelial cells, and those that form synapses are referred to as neuropod cells. Neuropod cells provide the foundation for the gut to transduce sensory signals from the intestinal milieu to the brain through fast neurotransmission onto neurons, including those of the vagus nerve. These findings have sparked a new field of exploration in sensory neurobiology-that of gut-brain sensory transduction.
Kaelberer, MM; Rupprecht, LE; Liu, WW; Weng, P; Bohórquez, DV
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