Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/106521
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Type: Journal article
Title: Enterochromaffin cells are gut chemosensors that couple to sensory neural pathways
Author: Bellono, N.
Bayrer, J.
Leitch, D.
Castro, J.
Zhang, C.
O'Donnell, T.
Brierley, S.
Ingraham, H.
Julius, D.
Citation: Cell, 2017; 170(1):185-198.e16
Publisher: Cell Press
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0092-8674
1097-4172
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Nicholas W. Bellono, James R. Bayrer, Duncan B. Leitch, Joel Castro, Chuchu Zhang, Tracey A. O, Donnell, Stuart M. Brierley, Holly A. Ingraham, and David Julius
Abstract: Dietary, microbial, and inflammatory factors modulate the gut-brain axis and influence physiological processes ranging from metabolism to cognition. The gut epithelium is a principal site for detecting such agents, but precisely how it communicates with neural elements is poorly understood. Serotonergic enterochromaffin (EC) cells are proposed to fulfill this role by acting as chemosensors, but understanding how these rare and unique cell types transduce chemosensory information to the nervous system has been hampered by their paucity and inaccessibility to single-cell measurements. Here, we circumvent this limitation by exploiting cultured intestinal organoids together with single-cell measurements to elucidate intrinsic biophysical, pharmacological, and genetic properties of EC cells. We show that EC cells express specific chemosensory receptors, are electrically excitable, and modulate serotonin-sensitive primary afferent nerve fibers via synaptic connections, enabling them to detect and transduce environmental, metabolic, and homeostatic information from the gut directly to the nervous system.
Keywords: chemosensation
Rights: © 2017 Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.05.034
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1083480
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1126378
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