Towards a better understanding of the complex brain–gut connection
Some neuronal and immune cells in the intestine share anatomical features and influence each other's function, forming neuronal–immune cell units. However, whether brain-derived signals might control enteric immune functions and intestinal homeostasis has not been adequately studied. Curiously, the neurological dysfunction induced by stroke is associated with intestinal problems, including infections, inflammation and colorectal cancer. The promising preliminary data has demonstrated that stroke disrupts intestinal lymphocyte homeostasis, promoting their release from the gut to other organs. The EU-funded Neu-i-Gut project will investigate how the central nervous system affects intestinal immune homeostasis and whether brain-derived signals induce gastrointestinal disease. To that end, researchers will employ stroke and gastrointestinal disease models, together with genetic technology.
Fields of science
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