Research Article

Microbiota-modulated CART+ enteric neurons autonomously regulate blood glucose

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Science  16 Oct 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6514, pp. 314-321
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd6176

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Metabolic signals from gut microbes

The gut is a stretchy, glandular, and highly innervated tube packed at its distal end with microorganisms. Disruption of the microbial community can lead to metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. Muller et al. investigated how the microbiota interacts with the enteric nervous system to induce a metabolic outcome. A population of autonomous enteric neurons called CART+ neurons are enriched in the ileum and colon, where most of the microbiota resides. Stimulation or ablation of the CART+ neurons alters blood glucose levels, insulin, and feeding behavior. Furthermore, by manipulating the microbiota, the density of enteric neurons responds plastically in an inducible and reversible manner.

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