Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Peptides. 2003 Feb;24(2):237-44.

Cholecystokinin activates specific enteric neurons in the rat small intestine.

Author information

  • 1Gastroenterology Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Tuskegee University, 36088, Tuskegee, AL, USA.


Cholecystokinin (CCK) is a peptide hormone released from the I-cells of the upper small intestine. CCK evokes a variety of physiological responses, such as stimulation of pancreatic secretion, reduction of food intake and inhibition of gastric emptying. Previously, we reported that CCK activates enteric neurons in the rat. However the specific subpopulations of enteric neurons activated by CCK have not been identified. In the work reported here, we utilized immunohistochemical detection of nuclear Fos, a marker for neuronal activation, and selected phenotypic markers to identify some of the neuronal subpopulations activated by CCK. The phenotypic markers that we examined were: nitric oxide synthase (NOS), neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R), calbindin (Cal), Calretinin (Calr), and neurofilament-M (NF-M). We found that in the myenteric plexus of the rat duodenum and jejunum, CCK activated NOS immunoreactive neurons. In the submucosal plexus of duodenum and jejunum, CCK activated Cal, Calr and NF-M immunoreactive neurons. CCK failed to activate NK-1R immunoreactive neurons in either plexus. Our results indicate that CCK activates distinct enteric neurons in the rat upper small intestine. Furthermore the fact that NOS immunoreactive neurons were activated suggests that CCK modulates the activity of inhibitory motor neurons in the myenteric plexus. Expression of Fos immunoreactivity in Calr and Cal immunoreactive neurons is consistent with a role for CCK in modulation of intrinsic sensory and/or secretomotor neuronal activity in the submucosal plexus.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center