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Vagal anandamide signaling via cannabinoid receptor 1 contributes to luminal 5-HT modulation of visceral nociception in rats

Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.05.005
  • Serotonin
  • Anandamide
  • Vagal Afferents
  • Visceral Pain
  • Postinfectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Serotonin (5-HT) plays pivotal roles in the pathogenesis of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS), and luminal 5-HT time-dependently modulates visceral nociception. We found that duodenal biopsies from PI-IBS patients exhibited increased 5-HT and decreased anandamide levels and that decreased anandamide was associated with abdominal pain severity, indicating a link between 5-HT and endocannabinoid signaling pathways in PI-IBS. To understand this, we investigated the role of endocannabinoids in 5-HT modulation of visceral nociception in a rat model. Acute intraduodenally applied 5-HT attenuated the visceromotor response (VMR) to colorectal distention, and this was reversed by the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) antagonist AM251. Duodenal anandamide (but not 2-arachidonoylglycerol) content was greatly increased after luminal 5-HT treatment. This effect was abrogated by the 5-HT 3 receptor (5-HT3R) antagonist granisetron, which was luminally delivered to preferentially target vagal terminals. Chemical denervation of vagal afferents blocked 5-HT-evoked antinociception and anandamide release. Chronic luminal 5-HT exposure for 5days increased baseline VMR and VMR post-5-HT (days 4 and 5). Duodenal levels of anandamide and N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD, the anandamide-synthesizing enzyme) protein gradually declined from day 1 to 5. The time-dependent effects of 5-HT were abolished by daily granisetron pretreatment. Daily pretreatment with CB1 agonists or anandamide from day 3 attenuated 5-HT-induced hyperalgesia. These data suggest that vagal 5-HT3R-mediated duodenal anandamide release contributes to acute luminal 5-HT-induced antinociception via CB1 signaling, whereas decreased anandamide is associated with hyperalgesia upon chronic 5-HT treatment. Further understanding of peripheral vagal anandamide signaling may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying 5-HT-related IBS.

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