Research Topic

Novel cellular interactions regulating the neural control of the intestines

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Reflex behaviors of the intestines such as patters of movement, regulation of bloodflow and fluid exchange across the mucosa are regulated by the enteric nervous system (ENS). The entire circuitry of the ENS is embedded in the gut wall and consists of aggregates of neurons and glia called enteric ganglia that ...

Reflex behaviors of the intestines such as patters of movement, regulation of bloodflow and fluid exchange across the mucosa are regulated by the enteric nervous system (ENS). The entire circuitry of the ENS is embedded in the gut wall and consists of aggregates of neurons and glia called enteric ganglia that are interconnected to form a network extending the length of the intestine. The basic neural circuits controlling basic intestinal reflexes are now well established. However, new data highlight the fact that neurons do not function in isolation and that bi-directional interactions between neurons and non-neuronal cells play a key role in modulating gut activity. These interactions are reshaping how we view the neural regulation of gut function and the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal disease.
This Research Topic focuses on interactions between neural and non-neuronal cells in the gastrointestinal tract. We welcome all types of submissions including: original research articles, review articles (including mini-reviews) and perspectives. We are particularly interested in submissions addressing interactions between enteric neurons and interstitial cell of Cajal, fibroblast-like cells, enteric glia, enteroendocrine cells, immune cells and the microbiome. We encourage submission of articles utilizing approaches that assess cell-cell interactions in rodent models and/or human tissue. This Topic will primary focus on how cell-cell interactions influence physiological gut functions. However, we also welcome submissions addressing how the interactions among neural and non-neuronal cells contribute to gastrointestinal diseases including, but not limited to, the inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, slow-transit constipation, necrotizing enterocolitis, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. Our goal is that this collection of articles will serve to enhance our understanding of the neural regulation of gut physiology and pathophysiology.


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