The effect of inflammation on the expression and distribution of the MAS-related gene receptors MrgE and MrgF in the murine ileum

Histochem Cell Biol. 2011 Nov;136(5):569-85. doi: 10.1007/s00418-011-0862-7. Epub 2011 Sep 13.


The MAS-related gene (Mrg) receptor MrgE has been suggested to be expressed at all tissue levels involved in pain sensation and to influence the expression of another Mrg receptor, MrgF. Given the knowledge on the role of the enteric nervous system (ENS) in sensation, and the plasticity of enteric neurons during intestinal inflammation, it can be hypothesized that MrgE is expressed in enteric neurons, and that MrgE and MrgF change expression in intestinal inflammatory conditions. Therefore, we aimed to reveal the expression details of MrgE and MrgF in the murine ileum in normal and inflamed conditions. Using reverse transcriptase-PCR, quantitative-PCR and immunohistochemistry, we compared the ileum of non-inflamed control mice with that of two models of intestinal inflammation, i.e. intestinal schistosomiasis and chemically induced ileitis. MrgE and MrgF mRNAs were detected in control and inflamed conditions. MrgE and MrgF mRNAs showed a trend towards downregulation during intestinal schistosomiasis and a significant reduction during ileitis. MrgE and MrgF receptors were expressed in distinct enteric neuronal subpopulations, such as the sensory, secretomotor and vasodilator neurons, and in nerve fibres in the tunica muscularis and lamina propria of control and inflamed ileum. Only a minor proportion of enteric neurons co-expressed MrgE and MrgF. The number of enteric neurons expressing MrgE and MrgF receptors was significantly reduced during intestinal schistosomiasis and ileitis. This is the first report on the expression of MrgE and MrgF in the ENS in (patho)physiological conditions. The expression of MrgE and MrgF in enteric neurons was negatively affected by inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression
  • Ileitis / metabolism
  • Ileitis / parasitology
  • Ileitis / pathology*
  • Ileum / drug effects
  • Ileum / metabolism
  • Ileum / parasitology
  • Ileum / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / metabolism*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / pathology
  • Submucous Plexus / metabolism
  • Submucous Plexus / pathology


  • MrgF protein, mouse
  • Mrge protein, mouse
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled