Jejunal afferent nerve sensitivity in wild-type and TRPV1 knockout mice

J Physiol. 2004 Nov 1;560(Pt 3):867-81. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2004.071746. Epub 2004 Aug 26.


The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of the TRPV1 receptor to jejunal afferent sensitivity in the murine intestine. Multiunit activity was recorded in vitro from mesenteric afferents supplying segments of mouse jejunum taken from wild-type (WT) and TRPV1 knockout (TRPV1(-/-)) animals. In WT preparations, ramp distension of the gut (up to 60 mmHg) produced biphasic changes in afferent activity so the pressure-response curve had an initial rapid increase in afferent discharge followed by a second phase of slower increase in activity. Afferent response to distension was significantly lower in TRPV1(-/-) than in WT mice. Single-unit analysis revealed three functional types of afferent fibres: (1) low-threshold fibres (2) wide dynamic range fibres and (3) high-threshold fibres. There was a marked downward shift of the pressure-response curve for wide dynamic range fibres in the TRPV1(-/-) mice as compared to the WT controls. The afferent response to intraluminal hydrochloric acid (20 mM) was also attenuated in the TRPV1(-/-) mice. In contrast, the response to bath application of bradykinin (1 microm, 3 ml) was not significantly different between the two groups. The TRPV1 antagonist capsazepine (10 microm) significantly attenuated the nerve responses to distension, intraluminal acid and bradykinin, as well as the spontaneous discharge in WT mice. The WT jejunal afferents responded to capsaicin with rapid increases in afferent activity, whereas TRPV1(-/-) afferents were not at all sensitive to capsaicin. Previous evidence indicates that TRPV1 is not mechanosensitive, so the results of the present study suggest that activation of TRPV1 may sensitize small intestinal afferent neurones.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Bradykinin / pharmacology
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ion Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ion Channels / deficiency*
  • Ion Channels / genetics*
  • Jejunum / drug effects
  • Jejunum / innervation*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neurons, Afferent / drug effects
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • TRPV Cation Channels


  • Ion Channels
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV1 protein, mouse
  • Capsaicin
  • Bradykinin