Notable postnatal alterations in the myenteric plexus of normal human bowel.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Nitric oxide is the most important transmitter in non-adrenergic non-cholinergic nerves in the human gastrointestinal tract. Impaired nitrergic innervation has been described in Hirschsprung's disease, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, and intestinal neuronal dysplasia (IND). Recent findings indicate that hyperganglionosis, one of the major criteria of IND, is age dependent. However, information is scanty regarding the neurone density in normal human bowel in the paediatric age group. AIMS: To determine neurone density, morphology, and nitric oxide synthase distribution of the normal myenteric plexus at different ages during infancy and childhood. METHODS: Specimens were obtained from small bowel and colon in 20 children, aged one day to 15 years, at postmortem examination. Whole mount preparations were made of the myenteric plexus, which were subsequently stained using NADPH diaphorase histochemistry (identical to nitric oxide synthase) and cuprolinic blue (a general neuronal marker). The morphology of the myenteric plexus was described and the neurone density estimated. RESULTS: The myenteric plexus meshwork becomes less dense during the first years of life. The density of ganglion cells in the myenteric plexus decreases significantly with age during the first three to four years of life. The NADPH diaphorase positive (nitrergic) subpopulation represents about 34% of all neurones in the myenteric plexus. CONCLUSIONS: The notable decrease in neurone density in the myenteric plexus during the first years of life indicates that development is still an ongoing process in the postnatal enteric nervous system. Applied to the clinical situation, this implies that interpretation of enteric nervous system pathology is dependent on the age of the patient.
Project description:The morphology of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the circular muscle layer of the cynomolgus monkey internal anal sphincter (IAS) and rectum and their relationship to sympathetic and nitrergic nerves were compared by dual-labeling immunohistochemistry. Contractile studies confirmed that nitrergic nerves participate in neural inhibition in both regions whereas sympathetic nerves serve as excitatory motor nerves only in the IAS. Muscle bundles extended from myenteric to submucosal edge in rectum but in the IAS bundles were further divided into "minibundles" each surrounded by connective tissue. Dual labeling of KIT and smooth muscle myosin revealed KIT-positive stellate-shaped ICC (ICC-IAS) within each minibundle. In the rectum intramuscular ICC (ICC-IM) were spindle shaped whereas stellate-shaped ICC were located at the myenteric surface (ICC-MY). ICC were absent from both the myenteric and submucosal surfaces of the IAS. Nitrergic nerves (identified with anti-neuronal nitric oxide synthase antibodies or NADPH diaphorase activity) and sympathetic nerves (identified with anti-tyrosine hydroxylase antibody) each formed a plexus at the myenteric surface of the rectum but not the IAS. Intramuscular neuronal nitric oxide synthase- and tyrosine hydroxylase-positive fibers were present in both regions but were only closely associated with ICC-IM in rectum. Minimal association was also noted between ICC-IAS and cells expressing the nonspecific neuronal marker PGP9.5. In conclusion, the morphology of rectal ICC-IM and ICC-MY is similar to that described elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract whereas ICC-IAS are unique. The distribution of stellate-shaped ICC-IAS throughout the musculature and their absence from both the myenteric and submucosal surfaces suggest that ICC-IAS may serve as pacemaker cells in this muscle whereas their limited relationship to nerves suggests that they are not involved in neuromuscular transmission. Additionally, the presence of numerous minibundles, each containing both ICC-IAS and nerves, suggests that this muscle functions as a multiunit type muscle.
Project description:Background:Inflammatory bowel diseases are associated with remodeling of neuronal circuitries within the enteric nervous system, occurring also at sites distant from the acute site of inflammation and underlying disturbed intestinal functions. Homeoproteins orthodenticle OTX1 and OTX2 are neuronal transcription factors participating to adaptation during inflammation and underlying tumor growth both in the central nervous system and in the periphery. In this study, we evaluated OTX1 and OTX2 expression in the rat small intestine and distal colon myenteric plexus after intrarectal dinitro-benzene sulfonic (DNBS) acid-induced colitis. Methods:OTX1 and OTX2 distribution was immunohistochemically investigated in longitudinal muscle myenteric plexus (LMMP)-whole mount preparations. mRNAs and protein levels of both OTX1 and OTX2 were evaluated by qRT-PCR and Western blotting in LMMPs. Results:DNBS-treatment induced major gross morphology and histological alterations in the distal colon, while the number of myenteric neurons was significantly reduced both in the small intestine and colon. mRNA levels of the inflammatory markers, TNF?, pro-IL1?, IL6, HIF1? and VEGF? and myeloperoxidase activity raised in both regions. In both small intestine and colon, an anti-OTX1 antibody labeled a small percentage of myenteric neurons, and prevalently enteric glial cells, as evidenced by co-staining with the glial marker S100?. OTX2 immunoreactivity was present only in myenteric neurons and was highly co-localized with neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Both in the small intestine and distal colon, the number of OTX1- and OTX2-immunoreactive myenteric neurons significantly increased after DNBS treatment. In these conditions, OTX1 immunostaining was highly superimposable with inducible nitric oxide synthase in both regions. OTX1 and OTX2 mRNA and protein levels significantly enhanced in LMMP preparations of both regions after DNBS treatment. Conclusions:These data suggest that colitis up-regulates OTX1 and OTX2 in myenteric plexus both on site and distantly from the injury, potentially participating to inflammatory-related myenteric ganglia remodeling processes involving nitrergic transmission.
Project description:The canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC) family of ion channels is implicated in many neuronal processes including calcium homeostasis, membrane excitability, synaptic transmission, and axon guidance. TRPC channels are postulated to be important in the functional neurobiology of the enteric nervous system (ENS); nevertheless, details for expression in the ENS are lacking. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to study the expression and localization of TRPC channels. We found mRNA transcripts, protein on Western blots, and immunoreactivity (IR) for TRPC1/3/4/6 expressed in the small intestinal ENS of adult guinea pigs. TRPC1/3/4/6-IR was localized to distinct subpopulations of enteric neurons and was differentially distributed between the myenteric and submucosal divisions of the ENS. TRPC1-IR was widely distributed and localized to neurons with cholinergic, calretinin, and nitrergic neuronal immunochemical codes in the myenteric plexus. It was localized to both cholinergic and noncholinergic secretomotor neurons in the submucosal plexus. TRPC3-IR was found only in the submucosal plexus and was expressed exclusively by neuropeptide Y-IR neurons. TRPC4/6-IR was expressed in only a small population of myenteric neurons, but was abundantly expressed in the submucosal plexus. TRPC4/6-IR was coexpressed with both cholinergic and nitrergic neurochemical codes in the myenteric plexus. In the submucosal plexus, TRPC4/6-IR was expressed exclusively in noncholinergic secretomotor neurons. No TRPC1/3/4/6-IR was found in calbindin-IR neurons. TRPC3/4/6-IR was widely expressed along varicose nerve fibers and colocalized with synaptophysin-IR at putative neurotransmitter release sites. Our results suggest important roles for TRPC channels in ENS physiology and neuronal regulation of gut function.
Project description:Opioids and opiates inhibit gastrointestinal functions via ?, ?, and ? receptors. Although agonists of the ? opioid receptor (DOR) suppress motility and secretion, little is known about the localization and regulation of DOR in the gastrointestinal tract.We studied mice in which the gene that encodes the enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) was inserted into Oprd1, which encodes DOR, to express an approximately 80-kilodalton product (DOReGFP). We used these mice to localize DOR and to determine how agonists regulate the subcellular distribution of DOR.DOReGFP was expressed in all regions but was confined to enteric neurons and fibers within the muscularis externa. In the submucosal plexus, DOReGFP was detected in neuropeptide Y-positive secretomotor and vasodilator neurons of the small intestine, but rarely was observed in the large bowel. In the myenteric plexus of the small intestine, DOReGFP was present in similar proportions of excitatory motoneurons and interneurons that expressed choline acetyltransferase and substance P, and in inhibitory motoneurons and interneurons that contained nitric oxide synthase. DOReGFP was present mostly in nitrergic myenteric neurons of colon. DOReGFP and ? opioid receptors often were co-expressed. DOReGFP-expressing neurons were associated with enkephalin-containing varicosities, and enkephalin-induced clathrin- and dynamin-mediated endocytosis and lysosomal trafficking of DOReGFP. DOReGFP replenishment at the plasma membrane was slow, requiring de novo synthesis, rather than recycling.DOR localizes specifically to submucosal and myenteric neurons, which might account for the ability of DOR agonists to inhibit gastrointestinal secretion and motility. Sustained down-regulation of DOReGFP at the plasma membrane of activated neurons could induce long-lasting tolerance to DOR agonists.
Project description:Neuronal degeneration and changes in interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) are important mechanisms of age-related constipation. This study aims to compare the distribution of ICCs and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) with regard to age-related changes between the ascending colon (AC) and descending colon (DC) in 6-, 31-, and 74-week old and 2-year old male Fischer-344 rats.The amount of fecal pellet and the bead expulsion times were measured. Fat proportion in the muscle layer of the colon was analyzed by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase (KIT) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) expression were analyzed with Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Isovolumetric contractile measurements and electrical field stimulation were used to assess smooth muscle contractility.Colon transit and bead expulsion slowed with senescence. Fat in the muscle layer accumulated with age in the AC, but not in the DC. The proportion of KIT-immunoreactive ICCs in the submucosal and myenteric plexus was higher in the DC than in the AC, and it declined with age, especially in the AC. In contrast, the proportion of NOS-immunoreactive neurons in the myenteric plexus was higher in the AC than in the DC, and both decreased in older rats. Nitric oxide levels declined with age in the DC. Muscle strip experiments showed that the inhibitory response mediated by nitric oxide in the circular direction of the DC was reduced in 2-year old rats.The AC and DC differ in their distribution of ICCs and nNOS, and age-related loss of nitrergic neurons more severely affects the DC than the AC.
Project description:Understanding the neurochemical composition of the enteric nervous system (ENS) is critical for elucidating neurological function in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract in health and disease. Despite their status as the closest models of human neurological systems, relatively little is known about enteric neurochemistry in nonhuman primates. We describe neurochemical coding of the enteric nervous system, specifically the myenteric plexus, of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) by immunohistochemistry and directly compare it to human tissues. There are considerable differences in the myenteric plexus along different segments of the monkey GI tract. While acetylcholine neurons make up the majority of myenteric neurons in the stomach (70%), they are a minority in the rectum (47%). Conversely, only 22% of gastric myenteric neurons express nitric oxide synthase (NOS) compared to 52% in the rectum. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is more prominent in the stomach (37%) versus the rest of the GI tract (?10%), and catecholamine neurons are rare (?1%). There is significant coexpression of NOS and VIP in myenteric neurons that is more prominent in the proximal GI tract. Taken as a whole, these data provide insight into the neurochemical anatomy underlying GI motility. While overall similarity to other mammalian species is clear, there are some notable differences between the ENS of rhesus monkeys, humans, and other species that will be important to take into account when evaluating models of human diseases in animals.
Project description:Enteric neuronal degeneration, as seen in inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and diabetes, can lead to gastrointestinal dysmotility. Pyroptosis is a novel form of programmed cell death but little is known about its role in enteric neuronal degeneration. We observed higher levels of cleaved caspase-1, a marker of pyroptosis, in myenteric ganglia of overweight and obese human subjects compared with normal-weight subjects. Western diet-fed (WD-fed) mice exhibited increased myenteric neuronal pyroptosis, delayed colonic transit, and impaired electric field stimulation-induced colonic relaxation responses. WD increased TLR4 expression and cleaved caspase-1 in myenteric nitrergic neurons. Overactivation of nitrergic neuronal NF-?B signaling resulted in increased pyroptosis and delayed colonic motility. In caspase-11-deficient mice, WD did not induce nitrergic myenteric neuronal pyroptosis and colonic dysmotility. To understand the contributions of saturated fatty acids and bacterial products to the steps leading to enteric neurodegeneration, we performed in vitro experiments using mouse enteric neurons. Palmitate and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increased nitrergic, but not cholinergic, enteric neuronal pyroptosis. LPS gained entry to the cytosol in the presence of palmitate, activating caspase-11 and gasdermin D, leading to pyroptosis. These results support a role of the caspase-11-mediated pyroptotic pathway in WD-induced myenteric nitrergic neuronal degeneration and colonic dysmotility, providing important therapeutic targets for enteric neuropathy.
Project description:Bile acids (BAs) regulate cells by activating nuclear and membrane-bound receptors. G protein coupled bile acid receptor 1 (GpBAR1) is a membrane-bound G-protein-coupled receptor that can mediate the rapid, transcription-independent actions of BAs. Although BAs have well-known actions on motility and secretion, nothing is known about the localization and function of GpBAR1 in the gastrointestinal tract.We generated an antibody to the C-terminus of human GpBAR1, and characterized the antibody by immunofluorescence and Western blotting of HEK293-GpBAR1-GFP cells. We localized GpBAR1 immunoreactivity (IR) and mRNA in the mouse intestine, and determined the mechanism by which BAs activate GpBAR1 to regulate intestinal motility.The GpBAR1 antibody specifically detected GpBAR1-GFP at the plasma membrane of HEK293 cells, and interacted with proteins corresponding in mass to the GpBAR1-GFP fusion protein. GpBAR1-IR and mRNA were detected in enteric ganglia of the mouse stomach and small and large intestine, and in the muscularis externa and mucosa of the small intestine. Within the myenteric plexus of the intestine, GpBAR1-IR was localized to approximately 50% of all neurons and to >80% of inhibitory motor neurons and descending interneurons expressing nitric oxide synthase. Deoxycholic acid, a GpBAR1 agonist, caused a rapid and sustained inhibition of spontaneous phasic activity of isolated segments of ileum and colon by a neurogenic, cholinergic and nitrergic mechanism, and delayed gastrointestinal transit.G protein coupled bile acid receptor 1 is unexpectedly expressed in enteric neurons. Bile acids activate GpBAR1 on inhibitory motor neurons to release nitric oxide and suppress motility, revealing a novel mechanism for the actions of BAs on intestinal motility.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Recent reports indicate the presence of low grade inflammation in functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), in these cases often called "post-inflammatory" FGIDs. However, suitable animal models to study these disorders are not available. The Biobreeding (BB) rat consists of a diabetes-resistant (BBDR) and a diabetes-prone (BBDP) strain. In the diabetes-prone strain, 40-60% of the animals develop diabetes and concomitant nitrergic dysfunction. Our aim was to investigate the occurrence of intestinal inflammation, nitrergic dysfunction and intestinal dysmotility in non-diabetic animals. METHODS: Jejunal inflammation (MPO assay, Hematoxylin&Eosin staining and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA expression), in vitro jejunal motility (video analysis) and myenteric neuronal numbers (immunohistochemistry) were assessed in control, normoglycaemic BBDP and diabetic BBDP rats. To study the impact of iNOS inhibition on these parameters, normoglycaemic BBDP rats were treated with aminoguanidine. RESULTS: Compared to control, significant polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell infiltration, enhanced MPO activity, increased iNOS mRNA expression and a decreased ratio of nNOS to Hu-C/D positive neurons were observed in both normoglycaemic and diabetic BBDP rats. Aminoguanidine treatment decreased PMN infiltration, iNOS mRNA expression and MPO activity. Moreover, it restored the ratio of nNOS to Hu-C/D positive nerves in the myenteric plexus and decreased the abnormal jejunal elongation and dilation observed in normoglycaemic BBDP rats. CONCLUSIONS: Aminoguanidine treatment counteracts the inflammation-induced nitrergic dysfunction and prevents dysmotility, both of which are independent of hyperglycaemia in BB rats. Nitrergic dysfunction may contribute to the pathophysiology of "low-grade inflammatory" FGIDs. Normoglycaemic BBDP rats may be considered a suitable animal model to study the pathogenesis of FGIDs.
Project description:The enteric nervous system (ENS) forms from the neural crest-derived precursors that colonize the bowel before differentiating into a network of neurons and glia that control intestinal function. Retinoids are essential for normal ENS development, but the role of retinoic acid (RA) metabolism in development remains incompletely understood. Because RA is produced locally in the tissues where it acts by stimulating RAR and RXR receptors, RA signaling during development is absolutely dependent on the rate of RA synthesis and degradation. RA is produced by three different enzymes called retinaldehyde dehydrogenases (RALDH1, RALDH2 and RALDH3) that are all expressed in the developing bowel. To determine the relative importance of these enzymes for ENS development, we analyzed whole mount preparations of adult (8-12-week old) myenteric and submucosal plexus stained with NADPH diaphorase (neurons and neurites), anti-TuJ1 (neurons and neurites), anti-HuC/HuD (neurons), and anti-S100? (glia) in an allelic series of mice with mutations in Raldh1, Raldh2, and Raldh3. We found that Raldh1-/-, Raldh2+/-, Raldh3+/- (R1(KO)R2(Het)R3(Het)) mutant mice had a reduced colon myenteric neuron density, reduced colon myenteric neuron to glia ratio, reduced colon submucosal neuron density, and increased colon myenteric fibers per neuron when compared to the wild type (WT; Raldh1WT, Raldh2WT, Raldh3WT) mice. These defects are unlikely to be due to defective ENS precursor migration since R1(KO)R2(Het)R3(KO) mice had increased enteric neuron progenitor migration into the distal colon compared to WT during development. RALDH mutant mice also have reduced contractility in the colon compared to WT mice. These data suggest that RALDH1, RALDH2 and RALDH3 each contribute to ENS development and function.