In this Issue
January 2017; volume 312, issue 1
REVIEWS | Neurogastroenterology and Motility
PERSPECTIVES | Neurogastroenterology and Motility
RESEARCH ARTICLE | Hormones, Neurotransmitters, Growth Factors, Receptors, and Signaling
- Regulation and function of bone morphogenetic protein signaling in colonic injury and inflammation
In this study we report a series of novel observations that underscore the importance of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling in the regulation of colonic homeostasis during the development of injury and inflammation. In particular, we present evidence that BMP signaling mitigates the response of the colonic epithelium to injury and inflammation and that cytokines, such as TNF-α and IL-1β, inhibit the expression of BMP-4.
RESEARCH ARTICLE | Inflammation, Immunity, Fibrosis, and Infection
- Probiotic mixture VSL#3 reduces colonic inflammation and improves intestinal barrier function in Muc2 mucin-deficient mice
It is unclear whether probiotics require an intact mucin barrier to first colonize and/or exert their protective functions. In this study we used mucin-deficient (Muc2−/−) mice to interrogate if the multispecies probiotic mixture VSL#3 could enhance epithelial barrier function. In the absence of a mucus bilayer, VSL#3 dampened proinflammatory and chemokine production, accelerated restitution, and markedly improved gut permeability mediated by the short-chain fatty acid acetate in the colon.
RESEARCH ARTICLES | Neurogastroenterology and Motility
- Novel insights into fecal incontinence in men
Fecal incontinence in men is common, yet data on sex differences in clinical features, physiology, and treatment are scarce. We provide evidence that men, compared with women, with fecal incontinence have unique clinical features and physiology and are less likely to have investigations and treatment despite successful outcome with anorectal biofeedback therapy.
- Alterations of colonic function in the Winnie mouse model of spontaneous chronic colitis
This is the first study to provide analyses of intestinal transit and whole colon motility in an animal model of spontaneous chronic colitis. We found that cholinergic and purinergic neuromuscular transmission, as well as the smooth muscle cell responses to cholinergic and nitrergic stimulation, is altered in the chronically inflamed Winnie mouse colon. The changes to intestinal transit and colonic function we identified in the Winnie mouse are similar to those seen in inflammatory bowel disease patients.
RESEARCH ARTICLE | Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering, Development, and Cancer
- Maturity and age influence chief cell ability to transdifferentiate into metaplasia
Previous investigations have indicated that spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM) in the stomach arises from transdifferentiation of chief cells. Nevertheless, the intrinsic properties of chief cells that influence transdifferentiation have been largely unknown. We now report that the ability to transdifferentiate into SPEM is impaired in chief cells that lack full functional maturation, and as chief cells age, they lose their ability to transdifferentiate. Thus chief cell plasticity is dependent on both cell age and maturation.