Postganglionic sympathetic neurons in the prevertebral ganglia (PVG) provide ongoing inhibitory tone to the gastrointestinal tract and receive innervation from mechanosensory intestinofugal afferent neurons primarily located in the colon and rectum. This study tests the hypothesis that colitis alters the excitability of PVG neurons. Intracellular recording techniques were used to evaluate changes in the electrical properties of inferior mesenteric ganglion (IMG) neurons in the trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) and acetic acid models of guinea pig colitis. Visceromotor IMG neurons were hyperexcitable 12 and 24 h, but not 6 h, post-TNBS during "acute" inflammation. Hyperexcitability persisted at 6 days post-TNBS during "chronic" inflammation, as well as at 56 days post-TNBS when colitis had resolved. In contrast, there was only a modest decrease in the current required to elicit an action potential at 24 h after acetic acid administration. Vasomotor neurons from inflamed preparations exhibited normal excitability. The excitatory effects of XE-991, a blocker of the channel that contributes to the M-type potassium current, and heteropodatoxin-2, a blocker of the channel that contributes to the A-type potassium current, were unchanged in TNBS-inflamed preparations, suggesting that these currents did not contribute to hyperexcitability. Riluzole, an inhibitor of persistent sodium currents, caused tonic visceromotor neurons to accommodate to sustained current pulses, regardless of the inflammatory state of the preparation, and restored a normal rheobase in neurons from TNBS-inflamed preparations but did not alter the rheobase of control preparations, suggesting that enhanced activity of voltage-gated sodium channels may contribute to colitis-induced hyperexcitability. Collectively, these data indicate that enhanced sympathetic drive as a result of hyperexcitable visceromotor neurons may contribute to small bowel dysfunction during colitis.
|American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
|Published - Nov 1 2012
- Intracellular electrophysiology
- Postganglionic sympathetic
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)