Altered colorectal afferent function associated with TNBS-induced visceral hypersensitivity in mice

Bin Feng, Jun Ho La, Takahiro Tanaka, Erica S. Schwartz, Timothy P. McMurray, G. F. Gebhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Inflammation of the distal bowel is often associated with abdominal pain and hypersensitivity, but whether and which colorectal afferents contribute to the hypersensitivity is unknown. Using a mouse model of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis, we investigated colorectal hypersensitivity following intracolonic TNBS and associated changes in colorectum and afferent functions. C57BL/6 mice were treated intracolonically with TNBS or saline. Visceromotor responses to colorectal distension (15-60 mmHg) were recorded over 8 wk in TNBS-and saline-treated (control) mice. In other mice treated with TNBS or saline, colorectal inflammation was assessed by myeloperoxidase assay and immunohistological staining. In vitro single-fiber recordings were conducted on both TNBS and saline-treated mice to assess colorectal afferent function. Mice exhibited significant colorectal hypersensitivity through day 14 after TNBS treatment that resolved by day 28 with no resensitization through day 56. TNBS induced a neutrophil- and macrophage-based colorectal inflammation as well as loss of nerve fibers, all of which resolved by days 14-28. Single-fiber recordings revealed a net increase in afferent drive from stretch-sensitive colorectal afferents at day 14 post-TNBS and reduced proportions of mechanically insensitive afferents (MIAs) at days 14-28. Intracolonic TNBS-induced colorectal inflammation was associated with the development and recovery of hypersensitivity in mice, which correlated with a transient increase and recovery of sensitization of stretch-sensitive colorectal afferents and MIAs. These results indicate that the development and maintenance of colorectal hypersensitivity following inflammation are mediated by peripheral drive from stretch-sensitive colorectal afferents and a potential contribution from MIAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G817-G824
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrophysiology
  • IBS
  • PI-IBS
  • Single-fiber
  • Visceral pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Altered colorectal afferent function associated with TNBS-induced visceral hypersensitivity in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this