Kate Walton, Ph.D., Research Investigator (Gumucio Laboratory), Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School
Development of the intestine requires coordinated growth and cell-cell communication between multiple cell types. Protein signals emitted by one cell are sensed through receptors on neighboring cells. The Notch signaling pathway plays important roles in coordinating the growth of many tissues, including the intestine. In this image, the green nuclei mark cells that are responding to a Notch signal. Cells of the developing blood vessels are stained magenta; some of these cells have green nuclei and are Notch-responsive. Many green nuclei are also found in the outer ring of nerve cells that are associated with the red muscle cells. These neurons control the peristaltic movements that are required to move food contents down the intestine.