Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Morphologies and distributions of 5-HT containing enteroendocrine cells in the mouse large intestine
    Kuramoto, H ; Koo, A ; Fothergill, LJ ; Hunne, B ; Yoshimura, R ; Kadowaki, M ; Furness, JB (SPRINGER, 2021-02-06)
    Serotonin (5-HT)-containing gastrointestinal endocrine cells contribute to regulation of numerous bodily functions, but whether these functions are related to differences in cell shape is not known. The current study identified morphologies and localization of subtypes of 5-HT-containing enteroendocrine cells in the mouse large intestine. 5-HT cells were most frequent in the proximal colon compared with cecum and distal colon. The large intestine harbored both open (O) cells, with apical processes that reached the lumen, and closed (C) cells, not contacting the lumen, classified into O1, O2, and O3 and C1, C2, and C3 cells, by the lengths of their basal processes. O1 and C1 cells, with basal processes sometimes longer that 100 µm, were most common in the distal colon. Their long basal processes ran against the inner surfaces of the mucosal epithelial cells and were strongly immunoreactive for 5-HT; these processes are ideally placed to communicate with the epithelium and to react to mechanical forces. O2 and C2 cells that had similar but shorter basal processes were also most common in the distal colon. O3 and C3 cells had no or very short basal processes. The O3 open type 5-HT cells were abundant in the proximal colon, particularly at the luminal surface, where they could release 5-HT into the lumen to act on luminal 5-HT receptors. Numerous O3 type 5-HT cells occurred in the lower (submucosal) region of the crypts in all segments and might release 5-HT to influence cell renewal in the crypt proliferative zones.
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    Morphologies, dimensions and targets of gastric nitric oxide synthase neurons
    Di Natale, MR ; Hunne, B ; Liew, JJM ; Fothergill, LJ ; Stebbing, MJ ; Furness, JB (SPRINGER, 2022-02-11)
    We investigated the distributions and targets of nitrergic neurons in the rat stomach, using neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS) immunohistochemistry and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) diaphorase histochemistry. Nitrergic neurons comprised similar proportions of myenteric neurons, about 30%, in all gastric regions. Small numbers of nitrergic neurons occurred in submucosal ganglia. In total, there were ~ 125,000 neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) neurons in the stomach. The myenteric cell bodies had single axons, type I morphology and a wide range of sizes. Five targets were identified, the longitudinal, circular and oblique layers of the external muscle, the muscularis mucosae and arteries within the gastric wall. The circular and oblique muscle layers had nitrergic fibres throughout their thickness, while the longitudinal muscle was innervated at its inner surface by fibres of the tertiary plexus, a component of the myenteric plexus. There was a very dense innervation of the pyloric sphincter, adjacent to the duodenum. The muscle strands that run between mucosal glands rarely had closely associated nNOS nerve fibres. Both nNOS immunohistochemistry and NADPH histochemistry showed that nitrergic terminals did not provide baskets of terminals around myenteric neurons. Thus, the nitrergic neuron populations in the stomach supply the muscle layers and intramural arteries, but, unlike in the intestine, gastric interneurons do not express nNOS. The large numbers of nNOS neurons and the density of innervation of the circular muscle and pyloric sphincter suggest that there is a finely graded control of motor function in the stomach by the recruitment of different numbers of inhibitory motor neurons.
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    Distribution and characterisation of CCK containing enteroendocrine cells of the mouse small and large intestine
    Fakhry, J ; Wang, J ; Martins, P ; Fothergill, LJ ; Hunne, B ; Prieur, P ; Shulkes, A ; Rehfeld, JF ; Callaghan, B ; Furness, JB (SPRINGER, 2017-08-01)
    There is general consensus that enteroendocrine cells, EEC, containing the enteric hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) are confined to the small intestine and predominate in the duodenum and jejunum. Contrary to this, EEC that express the gene for CCK have been isolated from the large intestine of the mouse and there is evidence for EEC that contain CCK-like immunoreactivity in the mouse colon. However, the human and rat colons do not contain CCK cells. In the current study, we use immunohistochemistry to investigate CCK peptide presence in endocrine cells, PCR to identify cck transcripts and chromatography to identify CCK peptide forms in the mouse small and large intestine. The colocalisation of CCK and 5-HT, hormones that have been hypothesised to derive from cells of different lineages, was also investigated. CCK immunoreactivity was found in EEC throughout the mouse small and large intestine but positive cells were rare in the rectum. Immunoreactive EEC were as common in the caecum and proximal colon as they were in the duodenum and jejunum. CCK gene transcripts were found in the mucosa throughout the intestine but mRNA for gastrin, a hormone that can bind some anti-CCK antibodies, was only found in the stomach and duodenum. Characterisation of CCK peptides of the colon by extraction, chromatographic separation and radioimmunoassay revealed bioactive amidated and sulphated forms, including CCK-8 and CCK-33. Moreover, CCK-containing EEC in the large intestine bound antibodies that target the biologically active sulfated form. Colocalisation of CCK and 5-HT occurred in a proportion of EEC throughout the small intestine and in the caecum but these hormones were not colocalised in the colon, where there was CCK and PYY colocalisation. It is concluded that authentic, biologically active, CCK occurs in EEC of the mouse large intestine.
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    Analysis of Bioavailability and Induction of Glutathione Peroxidase by Dietary Nanoelemental, Organic and Inorganic Selenium
    Ringuet, MT ; Hunne, B ; Lenz, M ; Bravo, DM ; Furness, JB (MDPI, 2021-04-01)
    Dietary organic selenium (Se) is commonly utilized to increase formation of selenoproteins, including the major antioxidant protein, glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Inorganic Se salts, such as sodium selenite, are also incorporated into selenoproteins, and there is evidence that nanoelemental Se added to the diet may also be effective. We conducted two trials, the first investigated inorganic Se (selenite), organic Se (L-selenomethionine) and nanoelemental Se, in conventional mice. Their bioavailability and effectiveness to increase GPx activity were examined. The second trial focused on determining the mechanism by which dietary Se is incorporated into tissue, utilising both conventional and germ-free (GF) mice. Mice were fed a diet with minimal Se, 0.018 parts per million (ppm), and diets with Se supplementation, to achieve 0.07, 0.15, 0.3 and 1.7 ppm Se, for 5 weeks (first trial). Mass spectrometry, Western blotting and enzymatic assays were used to investigate bioavailability, protein levels and GPx activity in fresh frozen tissue (liver, ileum, plasma, muscle and feces) from the Se fed animals. Inorganic, organic and nanoelemental Se were all effectively incorporated into tissues. The high Se diet (1.7 ppm) resulted in the highest Se levels in all tissues and plasma, independent of the Se source. Interestingly, despite being ~11 to ~25 times less concentrated than the high Se, the lower Se diets (0.07; 0.15) resulted in comparably high Se levels in liver, ileum and plasma for all Se sources. GPx protein levels and enzyme activity were significantly increased by each diet, relative to control. We hypothesised that bacteria may be a vector for the conversion of nanoelemental Se, perhaps in exchange for S in sulphate metabolising bacteria. We therefore investigated Se incorporation from low sulphate diets and in GF mice. All forms of selenium were bioavailable and similarly significantly increased the antioxidant capability of GPx in the intestine and liver of GF mice and mice with sulphate free diets. Se from nanoelemental Se resulted in similar tissue levels to inorganic and organic sources in germ free mice. Thus, endogenous mechanisms, not dependent on bacteria, reduce nanoelemental Se to the metabolite selenide that is then converted to selenophosphate, synthesised to selenocysteine, and incorporated into selenoproteins. In particular, the similar efficacy of nanoelemental Se in comparison to organic Se in both trials is important in the view of the currently limited cheap sources of Se.
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    Quantitation and chemical coding of enteroendocrine cell populations in the human jejunum
    Coles, TEF ; Fothergill, LJ ; Hunne, B ; Nikfarjam, M ; Testro, A ; Callaghan, B ; McQuade, RM ; Furness, JB (SPRINGER, 2020-01-01)
    Recent studies reveal substantial species and regional differences in enteroendocrine cell (EEC) populations, including differences in patterns of hormone coexpression, which limit extrapolation between animal models and human. In this study, jejunal samples, with no histologically identifiable pathology, from patients undergoing Whipple's procedure were investigated for the presence of gastrointestinal hormones using double- and triple-labelling immunohistochemistry and high-resolution confocal microscopy. Ten hormones (5-HT, CCK, secretin, proglucagon-derived peptides, PYY, GIP, somatostatin, neurotensin, ghrelin and motilin) were localised in EEC of the human jejunum. If only single staining is considered, the most numerous EEC were those containing 5-HT, CCK, ghrelin, GIP, motilin, secretin and proglucagon-derived peptides. All hormones had some degree of colocalisation with other hormones. This included a population of EEC in which GIP, CCK and proglucagon-derived peptides are costored, and four 5-HT cell populations, 5-HT/GIP, 5-HT/ghrelin, 5-HT/PYY, and 5-HT/secretin cell groups, and a high degree of overlap between motilin and ghrelin. The presence of 5-HT in many secretin cells is consistent across species, whereas lack of 5-HT and CCK colocalisation distinguishes human from mouse. It seems likely that the different subclasses of 5-HT cells subserve different roles. At a subcellular level, we examined the vesicular localisation of secretin and 5-HT, and found these to be separately stored. We conclude that hormone-containing cells in the human jejunum do not comply with a one-cell, one-hormone classification and that colocalisations of hormones are likely to define subtypes of EEC that have different roles.
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    Organisation of the musculature of the rat stomach
    Di Natale, MR ; Patten, L ; Molero, JC ; Stebbing, MJ ; Hunne, B ; Wang, X ; Liu, Z ; Furness, JB (WILEY, 2021-11-07)
    The strengths, directions and coupling of the movements of the stomach depend on the organisation of its musculature. Although the rat has been used as a model species to study gastric function, there is no detailed, quantitative study of the arrangement of the gastric muscles in rat. Here we provide a descriptive and quantitative account, and compare it with human gastric anatomy. The rat stomach has three components of the muscularis externa, a longitudinal coat, a circular coat and an internal oblique (sling) muscle in the region of the gastro-oesophageal junction. These layers are similar to human. Unlike human, the rat stomach is also equipped with paired muscular oesophago-pyloric ligaments that lie external to the longitudinal muscle. There is a prominent muscularis mucosae throughout the stomach and strands of smooth muscle occur in the mucosa, between the glands of the corpus and antrum. The striated muscle of the oesophageal wall reaches to the stomach, unlike the human, in which the wall of the distal oesophagus is smooth muscle. Thus, the continuity of gastric and oesophageal smooth muscle bundles, that occurs in human, does not occur in rat. Circular muscle bundles extend around the circumference of the stomach, in the fundus forming a cap of parallel muscle bundles. This arrangement favours co-ordinated circumferential contractions. Small bands of muscle make connections between the circular muscle bundles. This is consistent with a slower conduction of excitation orthogonal to the circular muscle bundles, across the corpus towards the distal antrum. The oblique muscle merged and became continuous with the circular muscle close to the gastro-oesophageal junction at the base of the fundus, and in the corpus, lateral to the lesser curvature. Quantitation of muscle thickness revealed gradients of thickness of both the longitudinal and circular muscle. This anatomical study provides essential data for interpreting gastric movements.
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    Analysis of enteroendocrine cell populations in the human colon
    Martins, P ; Fakhry, J ; de Oliveira, EC ; Hunne, B ; Fothergill, LJ ; Ringuet, M ; Reis, DD ; Rehfeld, JF ; Callaghan, B ; Furness, JB (SPRINGER, 2017-02-01)
    Recent studies have shown that patterns of colocalisation of hormones in enteroendocrine cells are more complex than previously appreciated and that the patterns differ substantially between species. In this study, the human sigmoid colon is investigated by immunohistochemistry for the presence of gastrointestinal hormones and their colocalisation. The segments of colon were distant from the pathology that led to colectomy and appeared structurally normal. Only four hormones, 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), peptide YY (PYY) and somatostatin, were common in enteroendocrine cells of the human colon. Cholecystokinin, present in the colon of some species, was absent, as were glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, ghrelin and motilin. Neurotensin cells were extremely rare. The most numerous cells were 5-HT cells, some of which also contained PYY or somatostatin and very rarely GLP-1. Almost all GLP-1 cells contained PYY. It is concluded that enteroendocrine cells of the human colon, like those of other regions and species, exhibit overlapping patterns of hormone colocalisation and that the hormones and their patterns of expression differ between human and other species.
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    Evidence that central pathways that mediate defecation utilize ghrelin receptors but do not require endogenous ghrelin
    Pustovit, RV ; Callaghan, B ; Ringuet, MT ; Kerr, NF ; Hunne, B ; Smyth, IM ; Pietra, C ; Furness, JB (WILEY, 2017-08-01)
    In laboratory animals and in human, centrally penetrant ghrelin receptor agonists, given systemically or orally, cause defecation. Animal studies show that the effect is due to activation of ghrelin receptors in the spinal lumbosacral defecation centers. However, it is not known whether there is a physiological role of ghrelin or the ghrelin receptor in the control of defecation. Using immunohistochemistry and immunoassay, we detected and measured ghrelin in the stomach, but were unable to detect ghrelin by either method in the lumbosacral spinal cord, or other regions of the CNS In rats in which the thoracic spinal cord was transected 5 weeks before, the effects of a ghrelin agonist on colorectal propulsion were significantly enhanced, but defecation caused by water avoidance stress (WAS) was reduced. In knockout rats that expressed no ghrelin and in wild-type rats, WAS-induced defecation was reduced by a ghrelin receptor antagonist, to similar extents. We conclude that the ghrelin receptors of the lumbosacral defecation centers have a physiological role in the control of defecation, but that their role is not dependent on ghrelin. This implies that a transmitter other than ghrelin engages the ghrelin receptor or a ghrelin receptor complex.
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    Sites of action of ghrelin receptor ligands in cardiovascular control
    Callaghan, B ; Hunne, B ; Hirayama, H ; Sartor, DM ; Nguyen, TV ; Abogadie, FC ; Ferens, D ; McIntyre, P ; Ban, K ; Baell, J ; Furness, JB ; Brock, JA (AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC, 2012-10-01)
    Circulating ghrelin reduces blood pressure, but the mechanism for this action is unknown. This study investigated whether ghrelin has direct vasodilator effects mediated through the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHSR1a) and whether ghrelin reduces sympathetic nerve activity. Mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under control of the promoter for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR) and RT-PCR were used to locate sites of receptor expression. Effects of ghrelin and the nonpeptide GHSR1a agonist capromorelin on rat arteries and on transmission in sympathetic ganglia were measured in vitro. In addition, rat blood pressure and sympathetic nerve activity responses to ghrelin were determined in vivo. In reporter mice, expression of GHSR was revealed at sites where it has been previously demonstrated (hypothalamic neurons, renal tubules, sympathetic preganglionic neurons) but not in any artery studied, including mesenteric, cerebral, and coronary arteries. In rat, RT-PCR detected GHSR1a mRNA expression in spinal cord and kidney but not in the aorta or in mesenteric arteries. Moreover, the aorta and mesenteric arteries from rats were not dilated by ghrelin or capromorelin at concentrations >100 times their EC(50) determined in cells transfected with human or rat GHSR1a. These agonists did not affect transmission from preganglionic sympathetic neurons that express GHSR1a. Intravenous application of ghrelin lowered blood pressure and decreased splanchnic nerve activity. It is concluded that the blood pressure reduction to ghrelin occurs concomitantly with a decrease in sympathetic nerve activity and is not caused by direct actions on blood vessels or by inhibition of transmission in sympathetic ganglia.