Tuft cell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
3D image of mouse jejunum tuft cells : A free-floating cryosection was immunostained with a tuft cell marker (anti-phospho-specific antibody against Girdin tyrosine-1798; pY1798 antibody from Immuno-Biological Laboratories) following an established method (Kuga D et al. Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry 65(6) 347-366, Mizutani Y et al. Journal of Visualized Experiments (133) e57475). SAMPLE: Cryosectioned free-floating DDY mouse jejunum (green: phospho-Girdin at tyrosine 1798, red: phalloidin, blue: DAPI) prepared by Iida M, Tanaka M, Asai M in Institute for Developmental Research, Aichi Human Service Center (Kasugai Japan). 3D-video edited by Ito T (Nikon Instech Japan). MICROSCOPE: NIKON A1R-TiE. OBJECTIVE LENS: Plan Apo λ 60x Oil.

Tuft cells, sometimes referred to as brush cells, are chemosensory cells in the epithelial lining of the intestines and respiratory tract. The names "tuft" and "brush" refer to the microvilli projecting from the cells.

Ordinarily there are very few tuft cells present but they have been shown to greatly increase at times of a parasitic infection. Several studies have proposed a role for tuft cells in defense against parasitic infection. In the intestine, tuft cells are the sole source of secreted interleukin 25 (IL-25).[1][2][3] Tuft cells are differentiated from stem cells in the bases of intestinal glands and their increase is seen as a type-2 immune response via ILC2s, which secrete IL-13, causing an increase in the number of tuft cells.[3][4] Type 2 immunity is involved in parasitic infections and allergic inflammation.[5]

The presence of α-gustducin in intestinal tuft cells raises the idea that tuft cells may be involved in the taste transduction pathway. Cells also express TRPM5, a signaling molecule in bitter and sweet taste signaling.[3] Mature tuft cells express DCLK1.[6] Tuft cells have also been found to secrete endogenous opioids.[7] The transcription factor Gfi1b has been found to be expressed in tuft cells.[3]

ATOH1 is required for tuft cell specification but not for maintenance of a mature differentiated state, and knockdown of Notch results in increased numbers of tuft cells.[3]


Tuft cells have a pear shape, with a wide base, narrow apex, and a "tuft" of microvilli projecting into the lumen of the organ.[8][9] Tuft cells can be identified by staining for cytokeratin 18, neurofilaments, actin filaments, acetylated tubulin, and DCLK1 to differentiate between tuft cells and enterocytes.[3]

Tuft cells are found in the intestine, pancreas and the respiratory tract, from nose to alveoli.[8]


Tuft cells were first discovered in the trachea of the rat, and in the mouse stomach.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Nicola (2016-03-18). "The enigmatic tuft cell in immunity". Science. 351 (6279): 1264–1265. doi:10.1126/science.aaf5215. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 26989236.
  2. ^ Howitt, M; Lavoie, S (2016). "Tuft cells, taste- chemosensory cells, orchestrate parasite type 2 immunity in the gut". Science. 351: 1329–33. doi:10.1126/science.aaf1648. PMID 26847546.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Gerbe, F; Legraverend, C; Jay, P (September 2012). "The intestinal epithelium tuft cells: specification and function". Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS. 69 (17): 2907–17. doi:10.1007/s00018-012-0984-7. PMC 3417095. PMID 22527717.
  4. ^ Gerbe, F; Sidot, E; Smyth, DJ; Ohmoto, M; Matsumoto, I; Dardalhon, V; Cesses, P; Garnier, L; Pouzolles, M; Brulin, B; Bruschi, M; Harcus, Y; Zimmermann, VS; Taylor, N; Maizels, RM; Jay, P (14 January 2016). "Intestinal epithelial tuft cells initiate type 2 mucosal immunity to helminth parasites". Nature. 529 (7585): 226–30. doi:10.1038/nature16527. PMID 26762460.
  5. ^ Steele, S.; Melchor, S.; Petri, W. (November 2016). "Tuft Cells: New Players in Colitis". Trends in Molecular Medicine. 22 (11): 921–924. doi:10.1016/j.molmed.2016.09.005. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  6. ^ Gerbe, François; Es, Johan H. van; Makrini, Leila; Brulin, Bénédicte; Mellitzer, Georg; Robine, Sylvie; Romagnolo, Béatrice; Shroyer, Noah F.; Bourgaux, Jean-François (2011-03-07). "Distinct ATOH1 and Neurog3 requirements define tuft cells as a new secretory cell type in the intestinal epithelium". The Journal of Cell Biology. 192 (5): 767–780. doi:10.1083/jcb.201010127. ISSN 0021-9525. PMC 3051826. PMID 21383077.
  7. ^ Kokrashvili, Zaza; Rodriguez, Deniliz; Yevshayeva, Valeriya; Zhou, Hang; Margolskee, Robert F.; Mosinger, Bedrich (2009-08-01). "Release of Endogenous Opioids From Duodenal Enteroendocrine Cells Requires Trpm5". Gastroenterology. 137 (2): 598–606.e2. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2009.02.070. ISSN 0016-5085. PMC 2717179. PMID 19272386.
  8. ^ a b Reid, Lynne; Meyrick, Barbara; Antony, Veena B.; Chang, Ling-Yi; Crapo, James D.; Reynolds, Herbert Y. (2005-07-01). "The Mysterious Pulmonary Brush Cell". American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 172 (1): 136–139. doi:10.1164/rccm.200502-203WS. ISSN 1073-449X. PMC 2718446.
  9. ^ Mezoff, Ethan (2016). "30-Anatomy and Physiology of the Small and Large Intestines". Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease (5 ed.). Elsevier. |access-date= requires |url= (help)