Time course of neural and contractile disturbances in a rat model of colitis induced by Trichinella spiralis

Mariona Aulí, Ester Fernández

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Colitis induced by Trichinella spiralis in rat induces alterations in the spontaneous motor pattern displayed by circular colonic muscle [Auli, M., Fernandez, E., 2005. Characterization of functional and morphological changes in a rat model of colitis induced by T. spiralis. Digestive Diseases and Sciences 50(8), 1432-1443]. We examined the temporal relationship between the severity of inflammation and the altered contractility of the underlying circular muscle as well as the role of NANC inhibitory pathways in the disruption of the motility pattern. Colitis was induced by intrarectal administration of T. spiralis larvae. Responses to acetylcholine (ACh) and increased extracellular potassium as well as the effect of tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1 μM), N-nitro-l-arginine (L-NOARG, 1 mM) and apamin (1 μM) were determined in vitro in the organ bath with circular muscle strips from sham-infected and infected rats at days 2-30 postinfection (PI). Microelectrode recordings were performed to study the putative changes in electrical activity of colonic smooth muscle cells. Responses to ACh and KCl were decreased at all days PI compared to sham. Intracellular calcium depletion had a greater inhibitory effect in inflamed tissue (6-14 PI). The effect of TTX, L-NOARG and apamin on the spontaneous contractions was found to be altered in all infected rats, i.e. their effects were transient and milder. Inflamed tissue showed lower resting membrane potential and a decreased duration of inhibitory junction potentials induced by electrical stimulation. These data suggest that the decreased contractility of colonic circular smooth muscle induced by the intrarectal T. spiralis infection results from the impairment of the excitation-contraction coupling, from a persistent hyperpolarization of smooth muscle cells and from impaired NANC inhibitory neurotransmission. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1129
JournalLife Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2007


  • Colon
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Motility


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