Characterization of basal pseudopod-like processes in ileal and colonic PYY cells.

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2011-02

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Abstract

The peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY) is produced and secreted from L cells of the gastrointestinal mucosa. To study the anatomy and function of PYY-secreting L cells, we developed a transgenic PYY-green fluorescent protein mouse model. PYY-containing cells exhibited green fluorescence under UV light and were immunoreactive to antibodies against PYY and GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1, an incretin hormone also secreted by L cells). PYY-GFP cells from 15 μm thick sections were imaged using confocal laser scanning microscopy and three-dimensionally (3D) reconstructed. Results revealed unique details of the anatomical differences between ileal and colonic PYY-GFP cells. In ileal villi, the apical portion of PYY cells makes minimal contact with the lumen of the gut. Long pseudopod-like basal processes extend from these cells and form an interface between the mucosal epithelium and the lamina propria. Some basal processes are up to 50 μm in length. Multiple processes can be seen protruding from one cell and these often have a terminus resembling a synapse that appears to interact with neighboring cells. In colonic crypts, PYY-GFP cells adopt a spindle-like shape and weave in between epithelial cells, while maintaining contact with the lumen and lamina propria. In both tissues, cytoplasmic granules containing the hormones PYY and GLP-1 are confined to the base of the cell, often filling the basal process. The anatomical arrangement of these structures suggests a dual function as a dock for receptors to survey absorbed nutrients and as a launching platform for hormone secretion in a paracrine fashion.

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10.1007/s10735-010-9302-6

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Bohórquez, Diego V, Rashmi Chandra, Leigh Ann Samsa, Steven R Vigna and Rodger A Liddle (2011). Characterization of basal pseudopod-like processes in ileal and colonic PYY cells. J Mol Histol, 42(1). pp. 3–13. 10.1007/s10735-010-9302-6 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9383.

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Bohorquez

Diego V. Bohorquez

Associate Professor in Medicine

I am a gut-brain neuroscientist.

Though my initial studies focused on GI physiology and nutrition, my expertise evolved to include neuroscience following the many personal stories, which have carefully sharpened my career vision along the way.  While pursuing a Doctoral degree in Nutrition, a friend shared her struggles with obesity and gastric bypass surgery.  

Surgery was a last resort but helped to reduced her body weight dramatically and resolved her diabetes.  Yet, the most striking part of her story for me was that her perception of taste had been markedly transformed. Reshaping her gut caused her brain to convert a prior repulsion at the appearance of runny egg yolk into a strong craving to eat those same eggs.

Today, we are still a long way from understanding the full details of these intriguing conversations between our gut and our brain. But, the more we understand, the closer we are getting to treating disorders involving alterations in the perception of food in our gut.

My focus is to unveil how the brain perceives what the gut feels, how food in the intestine is sensed by our body, and how a sensory signal from a nutrient is transformed into an electrical signal that alters behavior.


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