Uesaka, et al. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2015.
The enteric nervous system is a network of nerves in the gut. Nicknamed the “second brain,” it operates somewhat independently of the brain to regulate the gut’s digestive processes. This image shows the enteric nervous system of a four-day-old mouse, with blood and lymphatic vessels (blue), neurons (pink), and support cells called Schwann cells (green). Scientists have found that a subset of young Schwann cells go on to become neurons and are crucial for the proper development of the enteric nervous system.
Alexis is the science writer and editor for BrainFacts.org. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 with degrees in neuroscience and English.
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