Molecular anatomy of the gut-brain axis revealed with transgenic technologies: Implications in metabolic research

Swalpa Udit, Laurent Gautron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurons residing in the gut-brain axis remain understudied despite their important role in coordinating metabolic functions. This lack of knowledge is observed, in part, because labeling gut-brain axis neurons and their connections using conventional neuroanatomical methods is inherently challenging. This article summarizes genetic approaches that enable the labeling of distinct populations of gut-brain axis neurons in living laboratory rodents. In particular, we review the respective strengths and limitations of currently available genetic and viral approaches that permit the marking of gut-brain axis neurons without the need for antibodies or conventional neurotropic tracers. Finally, we discuss how these methodological advances are progressively transforming the study of the healthy and diseased gut-brain axis in the context of its role in chronic metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 134
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue number7 JUL
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Morphology
  • Mouse models
  • Obesity
  • Vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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