Neurobiology: Have guts, get nerve

    Article metrics

    J. Neurosci. 29, 9683–9699 (2009)

    Even in adulthood, gut neurons can renew themselves, scientists have found.

    Mintsai Liu at Columbia University in New York and her colleagues compared neurons in the guts of normal mice with those from mice lacking a receptor for serotonin (5-HT), a neurotransmitter associated with adult nerve generation in other parts of the body.

    They found that knocking out this receptor, 5-HT4, prevents the proliferation of neurons usually seen in the gut of newborn mice. In normal mice, drugs that activate 5-HT4 receptors promote neuron survival and stimulate stem cells to make new neurons.

    The authors suggest that such drugs might be developed to repair damage to the enteric nervous system as might occur in inflammatory bowel disease.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Neurobiology: Have guts, get nerve. Nature 460, 783 (2009) doi:10.1038/460783a

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.