Quick Project Snapshot

Nutrition: The control of gut hormone release by nutrients


Gut hormones are essential links in the control of obesity and provide novel opportunities for therapeutic intervention

Program Leaders: Dr Brid Callaghan, Mitchell Ringuet, Linda Fothergill, Billie Hunne, Prof John Furness.

Contact: Dr Callaghan: b.callaghan@unimelb.edu.au

Control of gut hormone release is important to diabetes, weight control and digestive health.  We have made the discovery that hormones that are in the same cells are in separate storage vesicles.  Our observation raises the strong possibility that the release of these, and other GI hormones that are colocalised in EEC cells, could be differentially controlled. 

In this project you will work with a team to investigate simultaneously the separate subcellular locations and the mobilisation of vesicles that contain 2 or more hormones in mouse enteroendocrine cells.  Naturally-occurring and synthetic stimulants of nutrient receptors on enteroendocrine cells will be used to promote vesicle translocation and release.

Immunohistochemistry of EEC

References:  Furness, JB, Rivera, LR, Cho, H‐J, Bravo, DM, Callaghan, B: The gut as a sensory organ. Nature Rev. Gastroenterol. Hepatol 10, 729-740 (2013).

Cho H-J, Robinson ES, Rivera LR, McMillan PJ, Testro A, Nikfarjam M, Bravo DM & Furness JB. Glucagon-like peptide 1 and peptide YY are in separate storage organelles in enteroendocrine cells. Cell Tissue Res 357, 63-69 (2014).

Systems Neurophysiology

In Systems Neurophysiology we seek to learn how the nervous system controls various bodily functions and how that control is altered in disease. Our disease focus includes not only neurological disorders such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, but also how the nervous system impacts on non-neurological diseases such as heart failure and inflammatory diseases.  A clear understanding of basic mechanisms is crucial in developing better therapies and reducing the impacts of illness. 

All Labs that operate in this Division

Autonomic Neuroscience LaboratoryDigestive Physiology and Nutrition LaboratoryNeurocardiovascular LaboratoryNeurovascular Biology LaboratoryRespiratory Neurophysiology LaboratoryViscerosensory Laboratory