School of Chinese Medicine
Combined effect of early life stress and acute stress on colonic sensory and motor responses through serotonin pathways: Differences between proximal and distal colon in rats
Clinically, adults who have experienced stresses in childhood present with episodes of serious symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome that are associated with acute stress, but the mechanism is not well understood. This study aimed to investigate the colonic sensory/motor responses to acute water avoidance stress (WAS) in male adult rats subjected to neonatal maternal separation (NMS), and the underlying mechanism of sensory/motor responses. Effects of the combined acute and early life stress on visceral sensation, colonic motility, and the tissue and luminal content of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) in the proximal and distal colon were evaluated using the abdominal withdrawal reflex test, faecal pellet output measurement and capillary electrophoresis analysis, respectively. Results showed that WAS significantly increased not only visceral sensitivity but also colonic motility in NMS rats compared to the normal rats. These alterations were accompanied by significant increase in 5-HT content in the proximal but not the distal colonic tissues; these alterations were also associated with increased density of enterochromaffin (EC) cells in the proximal segment. In contrast, the faecal content of 5-HT increased similarly in both segments. Consecutive administration of parachlorophenylalanine to NMS rats was more potent at 500mgkg-1day-1 than at 150mgkg -1day-1 in suppressing colonic sensory/motor responses to WAS, corresponding to the greater reduction of the tissue and faecal content of 5-HT and of EC cell density in the colon. These data indicate that combined early life stress and acute stress effectively induce visceral hyperalgesia and motility disorder through 5-HT pathways in the colon of rats, and the proximal and distal colon have different responses towards the combined stressors. © 2011 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
Acute stress, colonic motility, early life stress, serotonin pathways, visceral pain
Source Publication Title
Bian, Zhao-Xiang, Hong-Yan Qin, Shun-Lian Tian, and Sheng-Da Qi. "Combined effect of early life stress and acute stress on colonic sensory and motor responses through serotonin pathways: Differences between proximal and distal colon in rats." Stress 14.4 (2011): 448-458.