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Am J Physiol. 1998 Jan;274(1):G196-202. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.1998.274.1.G196.

CGRP upregulation in dorsal root ganglia and ileal mucosa during Clostridium difficile toxin A-induced enteritis.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02215, USA.


We have previously reported that pretreatment of rats with capsaicin (an agent that ablates sensory neurons) or CP-96345 (a substance P receptor antagonist) dramatically inhibits fluid secretion and intestinal inflammation in ileal loops exposed to Clostridium difficile toxin A. The aim of this study was to determine whether calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neuropeptide also found in sensory afferent neurons, participates in the enterotoxic effects of toxin A. Administration of toxin A was also found to increase CGRP content in dorsal root ganglia and ileal mucosa 60 min after toxin exposure. Furthermore, immunohistochemical studies demonstrated increased neuronal staining for CGRP 2 h after toxin A treatment. Pretreatment of rats with CGRP-(8-37), a specific CGRP antagonist, before instillation of toxin A into ileal loops significantly inhibited toxin-mediated fluid secretion (by 48%), mannitol permeability (by 83%), and histological damage. We conclude that CGRP, like substance P, contributes to the secretory and inflammatory effects of toxin A via increased production of this peptide from intestinal nerves, including primary sensory afferent neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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