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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Sep 2020 - 11 Sep 2020

Animal Studies

2020 Sep 08

Cell Rep



Editor's Pick

Enteric Glia Modulate Macrophage Phenotype and Visceral Sensitivity following Inflammation.


Grubišić V, McClain JL, Fried DE, Grants I, Rajasekhar P, Csizmadia E, Ajijola OA, Watson RE, Poole DP, Robson SC, Christofi FL, Gulbransen BD
Cell Rep. 2020 Sep 08; 32(10):108100.
PMID: 32905782.


Mechanisms resulting in abdominal pain include altered neuro-immune interactions in the gastrointestinal tract, but the signaling processes that link immune activation with visceral hypersensitivity are unresolved. We hypothesized that enteric glia link the neural and immune systems of the gut and that communication between enteric glia and immune cells modulates the development of visceral hypersensitivity. To this end, we manipulated a major mechanism of glial intercellular communication that requires connexin-43 and assessed the effects on acute and chronic inflammation, visceral hypersensitivity, and immune responses. Deleting connexin-43 in glia protected against the development of visceral hypersensitivity following chronic colitis. Mechanistically, the protective effects of glial manipulation were mediated by disrupting the glial-mediated activation of macrophages through the macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Collectively, our data identified enteric glia as a critical link between gastrointestinal neural and immune systems that could be harnessed by therapies to ameliorate abdominal pain.