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FASEB J. 2006 Dec;20(14):2486-95.

5-Hydroxytryptamine contributes significantly to a reflex pathway by which the duodenal mucosa protects itself from gastric acid injury.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093-0063, USA.


Although duodenal mucosal bicarbonate secretion (DMBS) is currently accepted as an important defense mechanism against acid-induced duodenal injury, the mechanism and the regulation of DMBS are largely unknown. 5-HT may regulate DMBS, but little is known about its physiological relevance in DMBS and the underlying mechanism(s). Thus, the aims of the present study were to demonstrate the role of 5-HT in acid-stimulated DMBS and to further elucidate the precise mechanisms involved in this process. Luminal acid stimulation significantly increased 5-HT release from the duodenal mucosa (P<0.01). SB204070, a selective 5-HT4 receptor antagonist, dose-dependently reduced luminal acid-stimulated HCO3(-) secretion of mice in vivo. In Ussing chamber studies, 5-HT-induced I(SC) and DMBS were abolished by removal of extracellular Ca2+, and significantly attenuated by pharmacological blockade of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX), intermediate Ca2+-activated K+ channels (IK(Ca)), or cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). 5-HT increased cytoplasmic free calcium ([Ca2+]cyt) in SCBN cells, a duodenal epithelial cell line, and knockdown of NCX1 proteins with a specific siRNA greatly decreased this 5-HT-mediated Ca2+ signaling. Taken together, our data suggest that 5-HT plays a physiological role in acid-stimulated DMBS via a Ca2+ signaling pathway, in which the plasma membrane NCX transporter as well as IK(Ca) and CFTR channels may be involved.

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