This is an image of mouse colon stained to identify cell membranes using beta-catenin (red) and cell nuclei (blue). The green cell is an enteroendocrine cell (EC) that produces serotonin. Such EC cells are scattered throughout the intestine and colon; they respond to acute injury, or bacterial or viral infection by secreting serotonin, which induces muscle contraction and fluid secretion. In cases of food poisoning, this little cell is at work stimulating fluid secretion (diarrhea) and gut motility (crampy abdominal pain) to expel the infectious agents or toxins from the GI tract.
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