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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2001 Dec;281(6):G1494-501.

GABA(B)R expressed on vagal afferent neurones inhibit gastric mechanosensitivity in ferret proximal stomach.

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Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory, Level 1 Hanson Centre, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia.


GABA(B)-receptor (GABA(B)R) agonists reduce transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (TLESR) and reflux episodes through an action on vagal pathways. In this study, we determined whether GABA(B)R are expressed on vagal afferent neurones and whether they modulate distension-evoked discharge of vagal afferents in the isolated stomach. Vagal mehanoreceptor activity was recorded following distensions of the isolated ferret proximal stomach before and after perfusion with the GABA(B)R-selective agonists baclofen and 3-aminopropylphosphinic acid (3-APPiA). Retrograde labeling and immunohistochemistry were used to identify GABA(B)R located on vagal afferent neurones in the nodose ganglia. Vagal afferent fibers responded to isovolumetric gastric distension with an increase in discharge. The GABA(B)-receptor agonists baclofen (5 x 10(-5) M) and 3-APPiA (10(-6) to 10(-5) M) but not muscimol (GABA(A)-selective agonist: 1.3 x 10(-5) M) significantly decreased afferent distension-response curves. The effect of baclofen (5 x 10(-5) M) was reversed by the GABA(B)-receptor antagonist CGP 62349 (10(-5) M). Over 93% of retrogradely labeled gastric vagal afferents in the nodose ganglia expressed immunoreactivity for the GABA(B)R. GABA(B)R expressed on vagal afferent fibers directly inhibit gastric mechanosensory activity. This is likely a contributing mechanism to the efficacy of GABA(B)-receptor agonists in reducing TLESR and reflux episodes in vivo.

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