Microbial signalling in colonic motility

Julie E. Dalziel, Nick J. Spencer, Wayne Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Sensory nerve endings within the wall of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract may respond to bacterial signalling, providing the basis for key biological processes that underlie intestinal motility and microbial homeostasis. Enteric neurons and smooth muscle cells are well known to express an array of receptors, including G-protein coupled receptors and ligand-gated ion channels, that can sense chemical ligands and other bacterially-derived substances. These include short chain fatty acids, secondary bile acids and lipopolysaccharide. For neural detection of microbial activators to occur, luminal substances must first interact with enterocytes for direct signalling or cross paracellularly. Recent studies indicate that bacterial-derived microvesicles can cross the gut epithelial barrier and affect motility. This suggests a possible intercellular communication pathway between the GI tract and the ENS. We explore the idea that bacterial microvesicles can behave as a delivery package for communication between microbe and host.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105963
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Bacteria
  • Colon
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Microvesicle
  • Probiotic


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