Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Inaugural American Physiology Summit!!

I am very excited to be a part of the 2023 Inaugural American Physiology Summit sponsored by the American Physiological Society!

The meeting kicked off Thursday with a Keynote address presented by Dr. David Julius, 2021 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Julius is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Morris Herzstein Chair in Molecular Biology and Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Julius and Dr. Ardem Patapoutian, Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, Scripps Research were awarded the Nobel Prize for their research on the mechanisms involved in the sensations of touch and pain.

In his keynote address, Dr. Julius spoke about his current research focusing on a specialized type of endocrine (hormone-releasing) cell in the gut that can detect chemicals such as capsaicin in chili peppers, wasabi, butyrate, and other chemicals. He discovered that these cells release serotonin in response to these chemicals. In fact, the gut is apparently a larger source of serotonin than the brain! After being released, the serotonin from these cells activate local nerve endings that send pain signals to the brain.

This research is a nice example of how the gut and brain are linked. It also explains my indigestion after eating chili peppers…

Categories: Diet and Exercise, Most Popular, Physiology on the Road

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