Neurons in Your Gut Talk to Your Brain

The enteroendocrine cells in your gut communicate with hormones, too.

By Lacy SchleyDec 18, 2018 12:00 PM
(Credit: Magic Mine/Shutterstock)


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The brain isn’t the only home for neurons: Many of these nerve cells also hang out in your gut, among other places. The so-called enteroendocrine cells that line the gut chat with the brain via hormones, talking about things like that snack you just ate. Usually, this hormonal communication can take anywhere from minutes to hours. Now, researchers have discovered that enteroendocrine cells can also communicate with the brain the same way neurons there do, by sending electrical signals in just milliseconds. The finding poses the question of how this new mechanism comes into play in conditions such as intestinal and digestive disorders.

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