Short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are breakdown products of undigested carbohydrates in the large bowel by aerobic bacteria. We have recently showed that intraluminal administration of SCFA (30-200 mM) significantly accelerated colonic transit and stimulated colonic motility in a dose dependent manner in conscious rats. The stimulatory effects of SCFAs were abolished by perivagal capsaicin treatment, atropine, vagotomy and the intraluminal treatment with 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. We also demonstrated that luminal administration of SCFAs significantly increased 5-HT release into the colonic lumen. Therefore, we postulate that 5-HT is released from enterochromaffin (EC) cells in response to SCFAs which in turn stimulates colonic motility via mucosal 5-HT3 receptors and a vago-vagal reflex. We have also found that rats given a low SCFAs-production diet (corn starch) had significantly increased density of 5-HT3 receptor immunoreactive fibers in the colonic mucosa when compared to rats receiving a high SCFAs-production diet (potato starch). In addition, it is known that restraint stress in the rat accelerates colonic transit via corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) and vagal pathways. Our preliminary studies demonstrated that restraint stress-induced acceleration of colonic transit was abolished by perivagal capsaicin treatment, intraluminal 5-HT3 antagonists, vagotomy, atropine and intracisternal (ic) injection of CRF antagonists. This suggests that central CRF-induced by restraint stress primarily stimulates 5-HT release from EC cells which results in an acceleration of colonic transit via 5-HT3 receptors and a vago-vagal reflex. Accelerated colonic transit and the incidence of diarrhea in response to restraint stress were much greater in rats receiving a low SCFAs-diet than that in rats given a high SCFAs-diet. In this proposal, we hypothesize that hypersensitivity of 5-HT3 receptors develops when luminal concentration of SCFAs is lowered. These results may provide a rational explanation as to how low concentrations of luminal SCFAs and stress contributes to the pathogenesis of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
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Clinical and Integrative Gastrointestinal Pathobiology Study Section (CIGP)
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Carrington, Jill L
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Medical College of Wisconsin
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Tong, Weidong; Kamiyama, Yoichi; Ridolfi, Tim J et al. (2011) The role of 5-HT3 and 5-HT4 receptors in the adaptive mechanism of colonic transit following the parasympathetic denervation in rats. J Surg Res 171:510-6
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Nakade, Yukiomi; Fukuda, Hiroyuki; Iwa, Masahiro et al. (2007) Restraint stress stimulates colonic motility via central corticotropin-releasing factor and peripheral 5-HT3 receptors in conscious rats. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 292:G1037-44
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