Nitric oxide (NO) is a non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic neurotransmitter found in the enteric nervous system that plays a role in a variety of enteropathies, including inflammatory bowel disease. Alteration of nitrergic neurons has been reported to be dependent on the manner by which inflammation is caused. However, this observed alteration has not been reported with acetic acid-induced colitis. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to investigate changes in nitrergic neuromuscular transmission in experimental colitis in a rat model. Distal colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of 4% acetic acid in the rat. Animals were sacrificed at 4 h and 48 h post-acetic acid treatment. Myeloperoxidase activity was significantly increased in the acetic acid-treated groups. However, the response to 60 mM KCl was not significantly different in the three groups studied. The amplitude of phasic contractions was increased by Nuω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) in the normal control group, but not in the acetic acid-treated groups. Spontaneous contractions disappeared during electrical field stimulation (EFS) in normal group. However, for the colitis groups, these contractions initially disappeared, and then reappeared during EFS. Moreover, the observed disappearance was diminished by L-NAME; this suggests that these responses were NO-mediated. In addition, the number of NADPH-diaphorase positive nerve cell bodies, in the myenteric plexus, was not altered in the distal colon; whereas the area of NADPH-diaphorase positive fibers, in the circular muscle layer, was decreased in the acetic acid-treated groups. These results suggest that NO-mediated inhibitory neural input, to the circular muscle, was decreased in the acetic acid-treated groups.
- Electrical field stimulation
- N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester
- Neuronal nitric oxide
- Nitrergic neuron
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