The enteric nervous system of the human and mouse colon at a single-cell resolution
Christopher S. Smillie,
Nicholas Van Wittenberghe,
Gabriel K. Griffin,
Michael S Cuoco,
Max N. Goder-Reiser,
Andrew J. Aguirre,
Genevieve M. Boland,
Ramnik J. Xavier,
Posted 28 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/746743
Posted 28 Aug 2019
As the largest branch of the autonomic nervous system, the enteric nervous system (ENS) controls the entire gastrointestinal tract, but remains incompletely characterized. Here, we develop RAISIN RNA-seq, which enables the capture of intact single nuclei along with ribosome-bound mRNA, and use it to profile the adult mouse and human colon to generate a reference map of the ENS at a single-cell resolution. This map reveals an extraordinary diversity of neuron subsets across intestinal locations, ages, and circadian phases, with conserved transcriptional programs that are shared between human and mouse. These data suggest possible revisions to the current model of peristalsis and molecular mechanisms that may allow enteric neurons to orchestrate tissue homeostasis, including immune regulation and stem cell maintenance. Human enteric neurons specifically express risk genes for neuropathic, inflammatory, and extra-intestinal diseases with concomitant gut dysmotility. Our study therefore provides a roadmap to understanding the ENS in health and disease.
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