Dual real-time in vivo monitoring system of the brain-gut axis

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Apr 2;524(2):340-345. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.01.090. Epub 2020 Jan 26.


The brain-gut axis which is an interaction between recognition and emotion and the gut sensory system for food and microbiota is important for health. However, there is no real-time monitoring system of the brain and the gut simultaneously so far. We attempted to establish a dual real-time monitoring system for the brain-gut axis by a combination of intravital Ca2+ imaging of the gut and electroencephalogram. Using a conditional Yellow Cameleon 3.60 expression mouse line, we performed intravital imaging of the gut, electrophysiological recordings of the vagus nerve, and electroencephalogram recordings of the various cortical regions simultaneously upon capsaicin stimuli as a positive control. Upon capsaicin administration into the small intestinal lumen, a simultaneous response of Ca2+ signal in the enteric nervous system and cortical local field potentials (LFPs) was successfully observed. Both of them responded immediately upon capsaicin stimuli. Capsaicin triggered a significant increase in the frequency of vagus nerve spikes and a significant decrease in the slow-wave power of cortical LFPs. Furthermore, capsaicin induced delayed and sustained Ca2+ signal in intestinal epithelial cells and then suppressed intestinal motility. The dual real-time monitoring system of the brain and the gut enables to dissect the interaction between the brain and the gut over time with precision.

Keywords: Brain-gut axis; Ca(2+) signaling; Capsaicin; Electrophysiology; Imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Calcium Signaling / drug effects
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena
  • Enteric Nervous System / drug effects
  • Enteric Nervous System / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / innervation
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Sensory System Agents / pharmacology
  • Vagus Nerve / drug effects
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*


  • Sensory System Agents
  • Capsaicin