Pain Stimulates Protective Mucus Secretion in GI Tract Interview with:
Isaac M. Chiu PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Immunology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115 What is the background for this study?

Response: The gut is densely innervated by pain fibers and we know that pain is associated with gut-related diseases. However, it is not so clear how pain fibers talk to the gut lining and barrier. We were interested to see that pain fibers were very close by the epithelial cells that line the gut, and in particular the goblet cells that produce mucus. We were wondering if mucus could be regulated by pain. Mucus is a key protective barrier that keeps our gut healthy by keeping harmful substances as well as bacteria away from the gut wall.