Deletion of choline acetyltransferase in enteric neurons results in postnatal intestinal dysmotility and dysbiosis

Carl D. Johnson, Amanda J. Barlow-Anacker, Joseph F. Pierre, Ketrija Touw, Christopher S. Erickson, John B. Furness, Miles L. Epstein, Ankush Gosain
  • The FASEB Journal, September 2018, Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB)
  • DOI: 10.1096/fj.201701474rr

What is it about?

The enteric nervous system (ENS) is considered the "brain of the gut." The ENS is made of neurons that control motility, water and nutrient absorption, and local blood flow. Each of these neurons has one or more types of neurotransmitters, which are signaling molecules that determine what that neuron does. One of the most common neurotransmitters in the ENS is acetylcholine (ACh). It is unknown if ACh is necessary for life, or if other neurotransmitters can provide the same function when it is missing. In this study, we deleted the enzyme that makes ACh and found that ACh is necessary for motility and survival after the newborn period.

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