Clearance of small intestinal crypts involves goblet cell mucus secretion by intracellular granule rupture and enterocyte ion transport.

Dolan B, Ermund A, Martinez-Abad B, Johansson MEV, Hansson GC

Sci Signal 15 (752) eabl5848 [2022-09-20; online 2022-09-20]

Goblet cells in the small intestinal crypts contain large numbers of mucin granules that are rapidly discharged to clean bacteria from the crypt. Because acetylcholine released by neuronal and nonneuronal cells controls many aspects of intestinal epithelial function, we used tissue explants and organoids to investigate the response of the small intestinal crypt to cholinergic stimulation. The activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors initiated a coordinated and rapid emptying of crypt goblet cells that flushed the crypt contents into the intestinal lumen. Cholinergic stimulation induced an expansion of the granule contents followed by intracellular rupture of the mucin granules. The mucus expanded intracellularly before the rupture of the goblet cell apical membrane and continued to expand after its release into the crypt lumen. The goblet cells recovered from membrane rupture and replenished their stores of mucin granules. Mucus secretion from the goblet cells depended on Ca2+ signaling and the expansion of the mucus in the crypt depended on gap junctions and on ion and water transport by enterocytes adjacent to the goblet cells. This distinctive mode of mucus secretion, which we refer to as "expanding secretion," efficiently cleans the small intestine crypt through coordinated mucus, ion, and fluid secretion by goblet cells and enterocytes.

Integrated Microscopy Technologies Gothenburg [Service]

PubMed 36126118

DOI 10.1126/scisignal.abl5848

Crossref 10.1126/scisignal.abl5848

mid: NIHMS1851593
pmc: PMC9749883

Publications 9.5.0