Image of the Week

The Second Brain

  • Published14 Sep 2015
  • Reviewed14 Sep 2015
  • Author Alexis Wnuk
  • Source BrainFacts/SfN

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).

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.

Content Provided By

BrainFacts/SfN