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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 Oct;291(4):G584-94. Epub 2006 Jun 1.

P2Y1 receptors mediate inhibitory purinergic neuromuscular transmission in the human colon.

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  • 1Dept. of Cell Biology, Physiology, and Immunology, Edifici V, Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra 08193, Spain.


Indirect evidence suggests that ATP is a neurotransmitter involved in inhibitory pathways in the neuromuscular junction in the gastrointestinal tract. The aim of this study was to characterize purinergic inhibitory neuromuscular transmission in the human colon. Tissue was obtained from colon resections for neoplasm. Muscle bath, microelectrode experiments, and immunohistochemical techniques were performed. 2'-deoxy-N(6)-methyl adenosine 3',5'-diphosphate tetraammonium salt (MRS 2179) was used as a selective inhibitor of P2Y(1) receptors. We found that 1) ATP (1 mM) and adenosine 5'-beta-2-thiodiphosphate (ADPbetaS) (10 microM), a preferential P2Y agonist, inhibited spontaneous motility and caused smooth muscle hyperpolarization (about -12 mV); 2) MRS 2179 (10 microM) and apamin (1 microM) significantly reduced these effects; 3) both the fast component of the inhibitory junction potential (IJP) and the nonnitrergic relaxation induced by electrical field stimulation were dose dependently inhibited (IC(50) approximately 1 microM) by MRS 2179; 4) ADPbetaS reduced the IJP probably by a desensitization mechanism; 5) apamin (1 microM) reduced the fast component of the IJP (by 30-40%) and the inhibitory effect induced by electrical field stimulation; and 6) P2Y(1) receptors were localized in smooth muscle cells as well as in enteric neurons. These results show that ATP or a related purine is released by enteric inhibitory motoneurons, causing a fast hyperpolarization and smooth muscle relaxation. The high sensitivity of MRS 2179 has revealed, for the first time in the human gastrointestinal tract, that a P2Y(1) receptor present in smooth muscle probably mediates this mechanism through a pathway that partially involves apamin-sensitive calcium-activated potassium channels. P2Y(1) receptors can be an important pharmacological target to modulate smooth muscle excitability.

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