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Gastroenterology. 2012 Oct;143(4):1006-16.e4. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2012.06.034. Epub 2012 Jun 23.

Gut microbial products regulate murine gastrointestinal motility via Toll-like receptor 4 signaling.

Author information

1
Division of Digestive Diseases, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Altered gastrointestinal motility is associated with significant morbidity and health care costs. Toll-like receptors (TLR) regulate intestinal homeostasis. We examined the roles of TLR4 signaling in survival of enteric neurons and gastrointestinal motility.

METHODS:

We assessed changes in intestinal motility by assessing stool frequency, bead expulsion, and isometric muscle recordings of colonic longitudinal muscle strips from mice that do not express TLR4 (Tlr4(Lps-d) or TLR4(-/-)) or Myd88 (Myd88(-/-)), in wild-type germ-free mice or wild-type mice depleted of the microbiota, and in mice with neural crest-specific deletion of Myd88 (Wnt1Cre(+/-)/Myd88(fl/fl)). We studied the effects of the TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on survival of cultured, immortalized fetal enteric neurons and enteric neuronal cells isolated from wild-type and Tlr4(Lps-d) mice at embryonic day 13.5.

RESULTS:

There was a significant delay in gastrointestinal motility and reduced numbers of nitrergic neurons in TLR4(Lps-d), TLR4(-/-), and Myd88(-/-) mice compared with wild-type mice. A similar phenotype was observed in germ-free mice, mice depleted of intestinal microbiota, and Wnt1Cre(+/-)/Myd88(fl/fl) mice. Incubation of enteric neuronal cells with LPS led to activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor (NF)-κB and increased cell survival.

CONCLUSIONS:

Interactions between enteric neurons and microbes increases neuron survival and gastrointestinal motility in mice. LPS activation of TLR4 and NF-κB appears to promote survival of enteric neurons. Factors that regulate TLR4 signaling in neurons might be developed to alter gastrointestinal motility.

PMID:
22732731
PMCID:
PMC3458182
DOI:
10.1053/j.gastro.2012.06.034
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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