Mechanical forces are important for normal gastrointestinal development and function. Now, He et al. have discovered a population of Drosophila midgut epithelial enteroendocrine cell (EEC) precursors that express the mechanosensitive ion channel Piezo, which generates a calcium influx that drives EEC differentiation and proliferation in response to physiological mechanical stimuli.
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A.B. appreciates the constructive feedback from members of the Mayo Clinic’s Enteric NeuroScience Program (ENSP), and acknowledges support from NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDKK) grants DK106456 and P30DK084567, and a Research Scholar Award from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA).
The author declares no competing interests.
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Beyder, A. Gut development on a full stomach. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 15, 394–395 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-018-0012-y