Wissenschaftsschwerpunkt der

MindTalk: Dissecting mechanisms mediating neurotransmitter release from sensory cells in the gut epithelium (Prof. Dr. Cordelia Imig)

Enteroendocrine cells (EECs) are sensory secretory cells in the gut epithelium that release peptide hormones and neurotransmitters in response to changes in the gut milieu. These cells are positioned at the interface between the body and the environment and therefore form an important relay station for sensory information transmitted along the microbiome-gut-brain-axis. Interestingly, mouse EECs express components of the neuronal molecular neurotransmitter release machinery and are positioned close to neuronal processes, indicating fast and directed cell-to-cell communication reminiscent of that at synaptic junctions between neurons in the brain. Our research goal is to dissect the molecular mechanisms that mediate signaling by distinct ECC subtypes and to thereby contribute to a better understanding of how EEC function regulates physiology, behaviour, and metabolism in health and disease.