CART in the enteric nervous system

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The expression, distribution, origin, projections, chemical coding and functions of cocaine and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) in the gastro-intestinal tract are reviewed. CART is extensively expressed in the enteric nervous system. Except from being a possible modulator of NO induced intestinal relaxation CART does not seem to play any pivotal role in intestinal motility. Accumulating evidence suggest CART to be neuroprotective, involved in survival and maintenance of enteric neurons. CART expression increases in atrophic intestine thus suggesting a role of CART in intestinal adaptation. In rat antral mucosa CART is expressed in gastrin cells indicating a hormonal role of gastric CART.

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