Running Title: Sympathy for the Microbiota: How Changes in Gut Microbial Composition Influence the Immune System and Basic Physiology by Way of the Sympathetic Nervous System
The intestinal microbiome, which aids in host metabolism, represents a diverse population of microorganisms separated from the inside of the body by only a single layer of epithelial cells. Broad evidence exists for the impact of the microbiota on mammalian biology, however how microbes influence the enteric associated nervous system and whether these effects play a role in mediating host physiology, inclusive of immune responses, remains under explored. Through a series of murine studies we found that multiple signals generated by changes in the gut microbial composition are integrated by the sympathetic nervous system to control gastrointestinal motility, enteric immunity, and blood glucose. Cumulatively, these findings have increased our understanding of how the enteric associated nervous system responds to changes in the microbiota and consequently regulates local tissue and overall mammalian homeostasis.
Graduate Scholar Talks provide young scholars an opportunity to make a generalist presentation on their research to a cross-disciplinary audience ready to listen carefully and ask probing questions. The talks are a useful learning experience for the presenter and for EPIC members to learn about topics beyond their own scholarly interests.