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Arch Ital Biol. 2010 Jun;148(2):73-83.

Neurogenesis in the enteric nervous system.

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Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine (TRM) Leipzig, University of Leipzig, Germany.


The enteric nervous system (ENS) represents the highly organized intrinsic innervation of the gastrointestinal tract and plays a critical role for all stages of postnatal life. Severe disturbances of ENS function can significantly influence life quality or, in severe cases, can have acute life-threatening effects. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated the persistence of neural stem cells in postnatal gut and there seem to be many interesting parallels to the more extensively studied neural stem cells in the brain. Enteric stem cells have been proposed as an appropriate cell source to provide an alternative therapeutic option for a number of neurogastrointestinal diseases, however a better understanding of these cells would be crucial for the translation of cell-based therapies into clinic. This review tries to highlight the recent findings in the field of enteric neurogenesis and additionally gives a brief overview about the development, structure and function of the ENS and about the developmental or age-related disturbances affecting the ENS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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