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Identification of enteroendocrine cells that express TRPA1 channels in the mouse intestine

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TRPA1 is an ion channel that detects specific chemicals in food and also transduces mechanical, cold and chemical stimulation. Its presence in sensory nerve endings is well known and recent evidence indicates that it is expressed by some gastrointestinal enteroendocrine cells (EEC). The purpose of the present work is to identify and quantify EEC that express TRPA1 in the mouse gastrointestinal tract. Combined in situ hybridisation histochemistry for TRPA1 and immunofluorescence for EEC hormones was used. TRPA1 expressing EEC were common in the duodenum and jejunum, were rare in the distal small intestine and were absent from the stomach and large intestine. In the duodenum and jejunum, TRPA1 occurred in EEC that contained both cholecystokinin (CCK) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) and in a small number of cells expressing 5HT but not CCK. TRPA1 was absent from CCK cells that did not express 5HT and from EEC containing glucagon-like insulinotropic peptide. Thus TRPA1 is contained in very specific EEC populations. It is suggested that foods such as garlic and cinnamon that contain TRPA1 stimulants may aid digestion by facilitating the release of CCK.

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We thank Dr. Daniel Poole and Dr. Tinamarie Lieu for providing the TRPA1 KO mice.

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Correspondence to Hyun-Jung Cho.

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Cho, HJ., Callaghan, B., Bron, R. et al. Identification of enteroendocrine cells that express TRPA1 channels in the mouse intestine. Cell Tissue Res 356, 77–82 (2014).

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