The gut brain in a dish: Murine primary enteric nervous system cell cultures

Simone L. Schonkeren*, Tara T. Küthe*, Musa Idris, Ana C. Bon-Frauches, Werend Boesmans, Veerle Melotte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The enteric nervous system (ENS) is an extensive neural network embedded in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract that regulates digestive function and gastrointestinal homeostasis. The ENS consists of two main cell types; enteric neurons and enteric glial cells. In vitro techniques allow simplified investigation of ENS function, and different culture methods have been developed over the years helping to understand the role of ENS cells in health and disease.  

Purpose: This review focuses on summarizing and comparing available culture protocols for the generation of primary ENS cells from adult mice, including dissection of intestinal segments, enzymatic digestions, surface coatings, and culture media. In addition, the potential of human ENS cultures is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14215
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Veni grant, grant number 016.186.124, VIDI grant, grant number 016.196.367, and HESTIA grant, grant number 1154.18.045, as well as by a grant from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), grant number G036320N

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Neurogastroenterology & Motility published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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