Consequences of Citrobacter rodentium infection on enteroendocrine cells and the enteric nervous system in the mouse colon

Cell Microbiol. 2006 Apr;8(4):646-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2005.00657.x.


We tested the hypothesis that Citrobacter rodentium infection leads to changes in the mucosal enteroendocrine signalling and the enteric nervous system and that the host's immune response contributes to these changes. Enteroendocrine cells, serotonin (5-HT) reuptake transporter (SERT), 5-HT release, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression were assessed in the colon of infected wild-type or severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Immunoreactivity for iNOS and neuropeptides were examined in the submucosal and myenteric plexuses. Mice were orogastrically infected with C. rodentium and experiments were conducted during the injury phase (10 days) and the recovery phase (30 days). 5-HT and somatostatin enteroendocrine cells and SERT were significantly reduced 10 days after infection, with numbers returning to control values at 30 days. 5-HT release was increased at 10 days. Changes to the mucosal serotonin signalling system were not observed in SCID mice. iNOS immunoreactivity was increased in the submucosa and mucosa at 10 days and returned to baseline levels by 30 days. No differences were observed in neuropeptide or iNOS immunoreactivity in the enteric plexuses following infection. The host's immune response underlies changes to enteroendocrine cells, SERT expression and 5-HT release in C. rodentium infection. These changes could contribute to disturbances in gut function arising from enteric infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Adhesion
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / metabolism
  • Citrobacter rodentium
  • Colon / innervation*
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / microbiology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / pathology
  • Enteroendocrine Cells / metabolism*
  • Enteroendocrine Cells / microbiology
  • Enteroendocrine Cells / pathology
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, SCID
  • Myenteric Plexus / metabolism*
  • Myenteric Plexus / microbiology
  • Myenteric Plexus / pathology
  • Neurotensin / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Somatostatin / metabolism
  • Submucous Plexus / metabolism*
  • Submucous Plexus / microbiology
  • Submucous Plexus / pathology
  • Substance P / metabolism


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Slc6a4 protein, mouse
  • Serotonin
  • Substance P
  • Neurotensin
  • Somatostatin
  • Glucagon-Like Peptides
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Nos2 protein, mouse
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide