Identification of markers of enteric neurons has contributed substantially to our understanding of the development, normal physiology, and pathology of the gut. Previously identified markers of the enteric nervous system can be used to label all or most neuronal structures or for examining individual cells by labeling just the nucleus or cell body. Most of these markers are excellent but have some limitations. Transmembrane protein 100 (TMEM100) is a gene at locus 17q32 encoding a 134-amino acid protein with two hypothetical transmembrane domains. TMEM100 expression has not been reported in adult mammalian tissues but does appear in the ventral neural tube of embryonic mice and plays a role in signaling pathways associated with development of the enteric nervous system. We showed that TMEM100 messenger RNA is expressed in the gastrointestinal tract and demonstrated that TMEM100 is a membrane-associated protein. Furthermore TMEM100 immunoreactivity was restricted to enteric neurons and vascular tissue in the muscularis propria of all regions of the mouse and human gastrointestinal tract. TMEM100 immunoreactivity colocalized with labeling for the pan-neuronal marker protein gene product 9.5 (PGP9.5) but not with the glial marker S100ß or Kit, a marker of interstitial cells of Cajal. The signaling molecule, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 4, was also expressed in enteric neurons of the human colon and co-localized with TMEM100. TMEM100 is also expressed in neuronal cell bodies and fibers in the mouse brain and dorsal root ganglia. We conclude that TMEM100 is a novel, membrane-associated marker for enteric nerves and is as effective as PGP9.5 for identifying neuronal structures in the gastrointestinal tract. The expression of TMEM100 in the enteric nervous system may reflect a role in the development and differentiation of cells through a transforming growth factor β, BMP or related signaling pathway.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|State||Published - Jun 14 2013|
- Enteric nervous system
- TGFβ signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas