This study aimed to clarify the relationship between TRPV1 activation-induced visceral pain and the serotonin pathway in the colon of rats. The effects of para-chlorophenylalanine (pCPA) on visceral pain threshold pressure were assessed in capsaicin -induced visceral pain of rats. The expression of TRPV1 in the colon was examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, and TRPV1 excitability in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons was examined by whole-cell patch-clamp recording in pCPA-treated rats. Calcineurin and Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII), the important proteins in maintaining TRPV1 function in the colon, were also tested by Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining. Results showed that pCPA significantly increased the capsaicin-induced visceral pain threshold by 2.3-fold, and the enhanced visceral pain threshold corresponded with decreased 5-HT content (58% depleted) and enterochromaffin cell number (80% reduced). The reduced excitability of TRPV1 in DRG neurons, instead of changed TRPV1 expression, is responsible for the enhanced visceral pain threshold in 5-HT-depleted rats, and the mechanism may be related to the decreased expression of pCaMKII. These results indicate that visceral hypersensitivity induced by TRPV1 activation is modulated through 5-HT pathways and the attenuated function of TRPV1 and decreased protein expression of pCaMKII may play an important role in capsaicin-induced TRPV1 desensitization under 5-HT-depleted condition. The important role of TRPV1 and 5-HT in generating and maintaining visceral hypersensitivity may provide insights for the treatment of visceral hypersensitivity.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Visceral hypersensitivity