Postnatal development of the myenteric glial network and its modulation by butyrate

François Cossais, Tony Durand, Julien Chevalier, Marie Boudaud, Laetitia Kermarrec, Philippe Aubert, Isabelle Neveu, Philippe Naveilhan, Michel Neunlist*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The postnatal period is crucial for the development of gastrointestinal (GI) functions. The enteric nervous system is a key regulator of GI functions, and increasing evidences indicate that 1) postnatal maturation of enteric neurons affect the development of GI functions, and 2) microbiota-derived short-chain fatty acids can be involved in this maturation. Although enteric glial cells (EGC) are central regulators of GI functions, the postnatal evolution of their phenotype remains poorly defined. We thus characterized the postnatal evolution of EGC phenotype in the colon of rat pups and studied the effect of short-chain fatty acids on their maturation. We showed an increased expression of the glial markers GFAP and S100β during the first postnatal week. As demonstrated by immunohistochemistry, a structured myenteric glial network was observed at 36 days in the rat colons. Butyrate inhibited EGC proliferation in vivo and in vitro but had no effect on glial marker expression. These results indicate that the EGC myenteric network continues to develop after birth, and luminal factors such as butyrate endogenously produced in the colon may affect this development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G941-G951
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Butyrate
  • Enteric glial cells
  • HDAC
  • MCT
  • Maturation


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