Protective Function of Extrinsic Sensory Neurons in Acute Rabbit Experimental Colitis

Gastroenterology. 1994 May;106(5):1208-14. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(94)90011-6.

Abstract

Background/aims: Sensory nerves appear to have a protective effect against acute injury in the gastric mucosa. Their function in the intestine is unclear.

Methods: In this study an immune-complex model of colitis was used to induce inflammation in the distal colon with and without functional ablation of sensory neurons by capsaicin pretreatment.

Results: Colitis was more severe in the capsaicin-pretreated group than in the vehicle group 48 and 96 hours after induction of colitis. Neutrophil infiltration, expressed as inflammatory index, was significantly increased to 4.25 +/- 0.4 vs. 1.83 +/- 0.5 at 48 hours and to 2.66 +/- 0.6 vs. 1.65 +/- 0.3 at 96 hours in the capsaicin group and the vehicle group, respectively. The microscopic ulcer index also was significantly increased in the capsaicin-pretreated group compared with the vehicle group (63.3 +/- 10.6 vs. 3.3 +/- 2.4 at 48 hours, 20.0 +/- 8.4 vs. 1.5 +/- 1.1 at 96 hours). Immunoreactive substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) contents were decreased in extracts of inflamed compared with uninflamed colon.

Conclusions: These data suggest that sensory neurons have a protective role in an acute rabbit model of experimental colitis by release of sensory neuropeptides (SP, CGRP), which may modulate vascular tone and mucosal blood flow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / analysis
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / physiopathology*
  • Colon / chemistry
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colon / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Intestinal Mucosa / chemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / physiology
  • Male
  • Necrosis
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Substance P / analysis
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Substance P
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Capsaicin