Serotonin modulates Campylobacter jejuni physiology and in vitro interaction with the gut epithelium

by Lyte, J. M.; Shrestha, S.; Wagle, B. R.; Liyanage, R.; Martinez, D. A.; Donoghue, A. M.; Daniels, K. M.; Lyte, M.

Microbial endocrinology, which is the study of neurochemical-based host-microbe interaction, has demonstrated that neurochemicals affect bacterial pathogenicity. A variety of neurochemicals, including norepinephrine, were shown to enhance intestinal epithelial colonization by Campylobacter jejuni. Yet, little is known whether serotonin, an abundant neurochemical produced in the gut, affects the physiology of C. jejuni and its interaction with the host gut epithelium. Considering the avian gut produces serotonin and serves as a major reservoir of C. jejuni, we sought to investigate whether serotonin can affect C. jejuni physiology and gut epithelial colonization in vitro. We first determined the biogeographical distribution of serotonin concentrations in the serosa, mucosa, as well as the luminal contents of the broiler chicken ileum, cecum, and colon. Serotonin concentrations were greater (P 0.05) in the mucosa and serosa compared to the luminal content in each gut region examined. Among the ileum, colon, and cecum, the colon was found to contain the greatest concentrations of serotonin. We then investigated whether serotonin may effect changes in C. jejuni growth and motility in vitro. The C. jejuni used in this study was previously isolated from the broiler chicken ceca. Serotonin at concentrations of 1mM or below did not elicit changes in growth (P 0.05) but not invasion (P 0.05). Together, we have identified a potential role for serotonin in modulating C. jejuni colonization in the gut in vitro. Further studies are required to understand the practical implications of these findings for the control of C. jejuni enteric colonization in vivo.

Poultry Science
1525-3171; 0032-5791