213 research outputs found

    The enteric nervous system and the digestive neuronal-glial-epithelial unit

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    In spite of its apparent simplicity, the digestive tract is probably one of the most complex organs of the human body. The complexity of the digestive functions requires an extremely fine regulation, to direct nutriments towards sites dedicated to absorption, to control their absorption, and protect our body against adverse environmental factors (bacteria, toxins…). All these functions are controlled by a second brain: the enteric nervous system (ENS). Neurons and enteric glial cells, which form the ENS, regulate gastrointestinal motility as well as intestinal barrier functions. The physical proximity of neurons and of glial and epithelial intestinal cells, and especially their inter-regulation have led to the definition of the new concept of neuronal-glial-epithelial unit. The ENS is a key regulator of digestive functions, and is also involved in the development of digestive disordersEn dépit d’une apparente simplicité, le tube digestif est probablement l’un des organes les plus complexes du corps humain. En effet, la complexité des fonctions digestives nécessite une régulation extrêmement fine, permettant à la fois de diriger les nutriments vers les sites spécialisés d’absorption du tube digestif, de contrôler leur absorption, et de protéger notre corps de l’agression par des facteurs environnementaux délétères (bactéries, toxiques…). L’ensemble de ces fonctions est assuré par un véritable deuxième cerveau : le système nerveux entérique (SNE). Les neurones et les cellules gliales entériques qui forment le SNE régulent la motilité digestive, mais aussi les fonctions de barrière de l’épithélium intestinal. La proximité physique des neurones ainsi que des cellules gliales et épithéliales intestinales, mais aussi et surtout leurs inter-régulations nous a permis de définir le nouveau concept d’unité-neuro-glio-épithéliale. Le SNE est un régulateur clef des fonctions digestives et participe également au développement de pathologies digestive

    Biopsable Neural Tissues: Toward New Biomarkers for Parkinson's Disease?

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    Biomarkers for Parkinson's disease (PD) are mainly intended for the early diagnosis of the disease and to monitor its progression, two aspects insufficiently covered by clinical evaluation. In the last 20 years, the search for biomarkers has been supported by technological advances in the fields of molecular genetics and neuroimaging. Nevertheless, no fully validated biomarker is yet available, and there is still a need for biomarkers that will complement those already available. Development of biomarkers for PD has been hampered by the fact that the core pathology lies in the brainstem, hidden from direct study in living patients. In this context, the recent observations that clearly demonstrated the presence of PD pathology in peripheral neural tissues provide new opportunities to develop original histopathological markers of the disease. Some of these peripheral tissues, especially the enteric nervous system, by being assessable using routine biopsies, could represent a window to assess in vivo the neuropathological processes occurring in PD

    Regulation of intestinal epithelial cells transcriptome by enteric glial cells: impact on intestinal epithelial barrier functions

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Emerging evidences suggest that enteric glial cells (EGC), a major constituent of the enteric nervous system (ENS), are key regulators of intestinal epithelial barrier (IEB) functions. Indeed EGC inhibit intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) proliferation and increase IEB paracellular permeability. However, the role of EGC on other important barrier functions and the signalling pathways involved in their effects are currently unknown. To achieve this goal, we aimed at identifying the impact of EGC upon IEC transcriptome by performing microarray studies.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>EGC induced significant changes in gene expression profiling of proliferating IEC after 24 hours of co-culture. 116 genes were identified as differentially expressed (70 up-regulated and 46 down-regulated) in IEC cultured with EGC compared to IEC cultured alone. By performing functional analysis of the 116 identified genes using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis, we showed that EGC induced a significant regulation of genes favoring both cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix adhesion as well as cell differentiation. Consistently, functional studies showed that EGC induced a significant increase in cell adhesion. EGC also regulated genes involved in cell motility towards an enhancement of cell motility. In addition, EGC profoundly modulated expression of genes involved in cell proliferation and cell survival, although no clear functional trend could be identified. Finally, important genes involved in lipid and protein metabolism of epithelial cells were shown to be differentially regulated by EGC.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>This study reinforces the emerging concept that EGC have major protective effects upon the IEB. EGC have a profound impact upon IEC transcriptome and induce a shift in IEC phenotype towards increased cell adhesion and cell differentiation. This concept needs to be further validated under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions.</p

    TLR2 and TLR9 modulate enteric nervous system inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide

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    Accumulating evidence suggest that the enteric nervous system (ENS) plays important roles in gastrointestinal inflammatory responses, which could be in part mediated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation. The aim of this study was to characterise the expression and functionality of TLR2/4/9 in the ENS. TLR2/4/9 expression was assessed in the plexuses of adult rats and embryonic ENS cultures by immunofluorescence and quantitative PCR. Following stimulation with TLR2/4/9 ligands or their combinations, activation of NF-kB, production of TNF-α, IL-6 and MCP-1 and chemoattraction of RAW264.7 macrophages were evaluated by means of Western blot, ELISA, immunofluorescence and migration assays in transwell inserts. TLR2/4/9 staining colocalised with enteric neuronal markers, whereas their presence in enteroglial processes was low to inexistent. Stimulation of ENS cultures with selective ligands induced NF-kB activation and release of cytokines and chemokines by neurons and resident immunocytes. TLR2 neutralisation before lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge reduced production of inflammatory mediators, whereas combination of TLR2/4 ligands promoted macrophage migration. Combined stimulation of cultures with LPS and the CpG oligonucleotide 1826 (TLR4/9 ligands) caused a synergic increase in chemoattraction and cytokine production. Our results suggest that the ENS, and particularly enteric neurons, can integrate a variety of microbial signals and respond in a relatively selective fashion, depending on the particular TLRs stimulated. These findings additionally suggest that the ENS is capable of initiating a defensive response against pathogens and expanding inflammation. The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12974-016-0653-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users

    Food allergy enhances allergic asthma in mice

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    BackgroundAtopic march refers to the typical transition from a food allergy in early childhood to allergic asthma in older children and adults. However the precise interplay of events involving gut, skin and pulmonary inflammation in this process is not completely understood.ObjectivesTo develop a mouse model of mixed food and respiratory allergy mimicking the atopic march and better understand the impact of food allergies on asthma.MethodsFood allergy to ovalbumin (OVA) was induced through intra-peritoneal sensitization and intra-gastric challenge, and/or a respiratory allergy to house dust mite (HDM) was obtained through percutaneous sensitization and intra-nasal challenges with dermatophagoides farinae (Der f) extract. Digestive, respiratory and systemic parameters were analyzed.ResultsOVA-mediated gut allergy was associated with an increase in jejunum permeability, and a worsening of Der f-induced asthma with stronger airway hyperresponsiveness and pulmonary cell infiltration, notably eosinophils. There was overproduction of the pro-eosinophil chemokine RANTES in broncho-alveolar lavages associated with an enhanced Th2 cytokine secretion and increased total and Der f-specific IgE when the two allergies were present. Both AHR and lung inflammation increased after a second pulmonary challenge.ConclusionGut sensitization to OVA amplifies Der f-induced asthma in mice

    Tau expression and phosphorylation in enteroendocrine cells

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    Background and objectiveThere is mounting evidence to suggest that the gut-brain axis is involved in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). In this regard, the enteroendocrine cells (EEC), which faces the gut lumen and are connected with both enteric neurons and glial cells have received growing attention. The recent observation showing that these cells express alpha-synuclein, a presynaptic neuronal protein genetically and neuropathologically linked to PD came to reinforce the assumption that EEC might be a key component of the neural circuit between the gut lumen and the brain for the bottom-up propagation of PD pathology. Besides alpha-synuclein, tau is another key protein involved in neurodegeneration and converging evidences indicate that there is an interplay between these two proteins at both molecular and pathological levels. There are no existing studies on tau in EEC and therefore we set out to examine the isoform profile and phosphorylation state of tau in these cells.MethodsSurgical specimens of human colon from control subjects were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using a panel of anti-tau antibodies together with chromogranin A and Glucagon-like peptide-1 (two EEC markers) antibodies. To investigate tau expression further, two EEC lines, namely GLUTag and NCI-H716 were analyzed by Western blot with pan-tau and tau isoform specific antibodies and by RT-PCR. Lambda phosphatase treatment was used to study tau phosphorylation in both cell lines. Eventually, GLUTag were treated with propionate and butyrate, two short chain fatty acids known to sense EEC, and analyzed at different time points by Western blot with an antibody specific for tau phosphorylated at Thr205.ResultsWe found that tau is expressed and phosphorylated in EEC in adult human colon and that both EEC lines mainly express two tau isoforms that are phosphorylated under basal condition. Both propionate and butyrate regulated tau phosphorylation state by decreasing its phosphorylation at Thr205.Conclusion and inferenceOur study is the first to characterize tau in human EEC and in EEC lines. As a whole, our findings provide a basis to unravel the functions of tau in EEC and to further investigate the possibility of pathological changes in tauopathies and synucleinopathies

    A functional network of highly pure enteric neurons in a dish

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    The enteric nervous system (ENS) is the intrinsic nervous system that innervates the entire digestive tract and regulates major digestive functions. Recent evidence has shown that functions of the ENS critically rely on enteric neuronal connectivity; however, experimental models to decipher the underlying mechanisms are limited. Compared to the central nervous system, for which pure neuronal cultures have been developed for decades and are recognized as a reference in the field of neuroscience, an equivalent model for enteric neurons is lacking. In this study, we developed a novel model of highly pure rat embryonic enteric neurons with dense and functional synaptic networks. The methodology is simple and relatively fast. We characterized enteric neurons using immunohistochemical, morphological, and electrophysiological approaches. In particular, we demonstrated the applicability of this culture model to multi-electrode array technology as a new approach for monitoring enteric neuronal network activity. This in vitro model of highly pure enteric neurons represents a valuable new tool for better understanding the mechanisms involved in the establishment and maintenance of enteric neuron synaptic connectivity and functional networks
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