Enterochromaffin cells and serotonin secretion
The impairments in communication between the gastrointestinal tract, the enteric nervous system (ENS) and the brain have been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple disorders, including obesity, diabetes, visceral pain and inflammatory bowel disease. The enteroendocrine cells, particularly enterochromaffin (EC) cells, functioning as mechano- and chemoreceptors in serotonin secretion, are central to this communication and display molecular and morphological features that are reminiscent of neuronal synapses in the brain. The EU-funded SynGut project employs a multidisciplinary approach to unravel the molecular mechanisms mediating hormone secretion from EC cells and understand its functional consequences; moreover, it will shed light on the information transfer process to the ENS and the brain.
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