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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2005 Feb;371(2):114-21. Epub 2005 Feb 17.

Experimental inflammation of the rat distal colon inhibits ion secretion in the proximal colon by affecting the enteric nervous system.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Campus de Cartuja s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain.


Intestinal inflammation causes hyporesponsiveness of the inflamed tissue to secretagogues but little is known about the behaviour of the areas proximal to the site of inflammation. We studied the responses of the proximal segment of the colon to carbachol, histamine, isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in rats with trinitrobenzenesulphonic acid (TNBS)-induced, chronic inflammation of the distal colon. Macroscopic and biochemical analysis ruled out the presence of inflammation in the proximal colon. When mounted in Ussing chambers under voltage-clamp conditions, basal transport and conductance were not affected. However, the maximum response in the concentration/response curves (short-circuit current) for carbachol and histamine was reduced in TNBS-treated rats, without changes in the EC(50). This effect corresponded to reduced chloride secretion, as demonstrated by ion substitution experiments. The responses to IBMX and VIP were virtually unaffected. The inhibitory effect was abolished by pretreatment with the neural blockers tetrodotoxin and lidocaine but not indomethacin, suggesting that the enteric nervous system is responsible for the inhibition. In conclusion, chronic distal inflammation of the distal colon results in inhibition of calcium-dependent secretion in the proximal colon via a reduction of the contribution of the enteric nervous system.

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