AIM: To investigate the intestinal functions of the NKCC1 Na+-K+-2Cl cotransporter (SLC12a2 gene), differential mRNA expression changes in NKCC1-null intestine were analyzed.

METHODS: Microarray analysis of mRNA from intestines of adult wild-type mice and gene-targeted NKCC1-null mice (n = 6 of each genotype) was performed to identify patterns of differential gene expression changes. Differential expression patterns were further examined by Gene Ontology analysis using the online Gorilla program, and expression changes of selected genes were verified using northern blot analysis and quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction. Histological staining and immunofluorescence were performed to identify cell types in which upregulated pancreatic digestive enzymes were expressed.

RESULTS: Genes typically associated with pancreatic function were upregulated. These included lipase, amylase, elastase, and serine proteases indicative of pancreatic exocrine function, as well as insulin and regenerating islet genes, representative of endocrine function. Northern blot analysis and immunohistochemistry showed that differential expression of exocrine pancreas mRNAs was specific to the duodenum and localized to a subset of goblet cells. In addition, a major pattern of changes involving differential expression of olfactory receptors that function in chemical sensing, as well as other chemosensing G-protein coupled receptors, was observed. These changes in chemosensory receptor expression may be related to the failure of intestinal function and dependency on parenteral nutrition observed in humans with SLC12a2 mutations.

CONCLUSION: The results suggest that loss of NKCC1 affects not only secretion, but also goblet cell function and chemosensing of intestinal contents via G-protein coupled chemosensory receptors.

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Published in World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology, v. 7, issue 1, p. 138-149.

© 2016 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.

This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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Funding Information

Supported by National Institutes of Health to Gary E Shull, No. DK050594.

Related Content

The microarray data have been deposited in the National Center for Biotechnology Gene Expression Omnibus and can be freely accessed as described in Methods. The Slc12a2 (NKCC1) knockout mouse model has been deposited in a publically available repository and can be accessed as described in Methods.

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