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Type: Journal article
Title: A novel preparation to study rat pancreatic spinal and vagal mechanosensitive afferents in vitro
Author: Schloithe, A.
Sutherland, K.
Woods, C.
Blackshaw, L.
Davison, J.
Toouli, J.
Saccone, G.
Citation: Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 2008; 20(9):1060-1069
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1350-1925
Statement of
A. C. Schloithe, K. Sutherland, C. M. Woods, L. A. Blackshaw, J. S. Davison, J. Toouli and G. T. P. Saccone
Abstract: The management of pancreatic pain is a significant clinical problem so understanding of how sensory signals are generated in pancreatic tissue is fundamental. We aimed to characterize mechanosensitive and chemosensitive properties of pancreatic spinal and vagal afferents in vitro. Spinal and vagal afferent preparations from Sprague-Dawley rats were established incorporating the left splanchnic nerve or vagus nerves respectively. The common bile duct was cannulated for distension of the pancreatic duct with fluid. Nerve discharge evoked by blunt probing, duct distension or electrical stimulation was obtained from teased nerve bundles using standard extra-cellular recording. Discharge from 197 spinal afferent bundles was recorded, of which 57% displayed spontaneous activity. Blunt probing revealed 61 mechanosensitive receptive fields which were associated primarily with arteries/blood vessels (33/61) and the parenchyma (22/61). All mechanosensitive responses were slowly adapting, with 33% continuing to discharge after termination of the stimulus and 60% displaying a response threshold <10 g. Application of chemical mediators (bradykinin, histamine, 5-hydroxytryptamine, cholecystokinin octapeptide) evoked a response from 31/57 units, with 33% excitatory and 23% inhibitory. Spontaneous discharge was recorded from 72% of 135 vagal bundles. Mechanosensitive receptive fields were not identified in the pancreas but were evident in adjacent organs. No spinal or vagal afferent response to duct distension was obtained. In conclusion, pancreatic mechanosensitive spinal afferents are common, in contrast to pancreatic mechanosensitive vagal afferents indicating that pancreatic sensory innervation is predominantly spinal. Chemosensitive spinal afferent nerve endings are present in the pancreas and respond to a variety of inflammatory and physiological mediators.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal Tract; Pancreas; Spinal Cord; Neurons, Afferent; Vagus Nerve; Mechanoreceptors; Animals; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Electrophysiology; Action Potentials; Stress, Mechanical
Description: The definitive version may be found at
RMID: 0020080571
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2008.01141.x
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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