The postnatal period is crucial for the development of gastrointestinal (GI) functions. The enteric nervous system is a key regulator of GI functions and increasing evidences indicate that 1) postnatal maturation of enteric neurons has an impact on the development of GI functions, and 2) microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acid can be involved in this maturation. Although enteric glial cells (EGC) are central regulators of GI functions, the postnatal evolution of their phenotype remains poorly defined. So, we characterized the postnatal evolution of EGC phenotype in the colon of rat pups and studied the impact of short-chain fatty acids on their maturation. We showed an increased expression of the glial markers, GFAP and S100β, during the first postnatal weeks. As demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, structured myenteric glial network was only observed at 36 days in the colon of rats. Butyrate inhibited EGC proliferation in vivo and in vitro but had no impact on glial marker expression. These results indicate that the EGC myenteric network continues to develop after birth, and luminal factors endogenously produced in the colon like butyrate may affect this development.
- enteric glial cells
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology- Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology