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Cell Tissue Res. 2016 Dec;366(3):573-586. Epub 2016 Aug 13.

Phenotype and distribution pattern of nestin-GFP-expressing cells in murine myenteric plexus.

Author information

1
ENS Group, University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern, Amerikastraße 1, 66482, Zweibrücken, Germany. david.grundmann@hs-kl.de.
2
ENS Group, University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern, Amerikastraße 1, 66482, Zweibrücken, Germany.
3
Department of Molecular Physiology, Medical Faculty of the University of Saarland, Homburg/Saar, Germany.
4
ENS Group, University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern, Amerikastraße 1, 66482, Zweibrücken, Germany. karl-herbert.schaefer@hs-kl.de.

Abstract

The enteric nervous system has to adapt to altering dietary or environmental conditions and presents an enormous plasticity that is conserved over the whole lifespan. It harbours neural-crest-derived neurons, glial cells and their precursors. Based on a nestin-green fluorescent protein (NGFP) transgenic model, a histological inventory has been performed to deliver an overview of neuronal and glial markers for the various parts of the gastrointestinal tract in newborn (postnatal day 7) and adult mice under homeostatic conditions. Whereas NGFP-positive glial cells can be found in all parts of the gut at any individual age, a specific NGFP population is present with both neuronal morphology and marker expression in the myenteric plexus (nNGFP). These cells appear in variable quantities, depending on age and location. Their overall abundance decreases from newborn to adults and their spatial distribution is also age-dependent. In newborn gut, nNGFP cells are found in similar quantities throughout the gut, with a significantly lower presence in the duodenum. Their expression increases in the adult mouse from the stomach to the colon. All of these nNGFP cells expressed either (but not both) of the glia markers S100 or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In the S100-positive glia population, a subset of cells also shows a neuronal morphology (nS100), without expressing nestin. Thus, the presence of premature neurons that express NGFP demonstrates that neurogenesis takes place far beyond birth. In enteric neurons, NGFP acts as a marker for neuronal plasticity showing the differentiation and change in the phenotype of neuronal precursor cells.

KEYWORDS:

Enteric nervous system and glia; Nestin; Neurogenesis; S100; Transdifferentiation

PMID:
27519533
DOI:
10.1007/s00441-016-2476-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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