Gut churning controls inflammation

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Science  31 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6332, pp. 1387-1388
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6332.1387-e

The gut is not an inert tube. It undergoes regular contractions called peristalsis. Rolig et al. examined the constant movement in the zebrafish gut and asked whether the enteric nervous system (ENS) plays a role in regulating the microbiota, as well as food flow. If the zebrafish ENS was disabled by knocking out the gene sox10, intestinal neutrophils accumulated, the gut epithelium proliferated, and inflammation resulted. The inflammation was caused by overgrowth of some bacterial lineages and was resolved by transplantation of ENS precursors or when a well-adapted anti-inflammatory bacterial strain was given to the fish. Thus, peristalsis is important for supressing the growth of poorly symbiotic bacteria, in zebrafish at least.

PLOS Biol. 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000689 (2017).

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