In Vitro Characterization Of The Electrophysiological Properties Of Colonic Afferent Fibers In Rats


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Dysfunction of the colonic sensory nerves has been implicated in the pathophysiology of several common conditions, including functional and inflammatory bowel diseases and diabetes. Here, we describe a protocol for the in vitro characterization of the electrophysiological properties of colonic afferents in rats. The colorectum, with the intact pelvic ganglion (PG) attached, is removed from the rat; superfused with carbogenated Krebs solution in the recording chamber; and cannulated at the oral and anal ends to allow for distension. A fine nerve bundle emanating from the PG is identified, and the multiunit afferent nerve activity is recorded using a suction electrode. Distension of the colonic segment elicits gradual increases in multiunit discharge. A principal component analysis is conducted to differentiate the low-threshold, the high-threshold, and the wide-dynamic range afferent fibers. Chemical sensitivity of colonic afferents can be studied through the bath or intraluminal administration of test compounds. This protocol can be modified for application to other species, such as mice and guinea pigs, and to study the differences in the electrophysiological properties of thoracolumbar/hypogastric and lumbosacral/pelvic afferents of the descending colon in normal and pathological conditions.
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Neurobiology,Issue 127,Colonic afferents,pelvic ganglion,thoracolumbar hypogastric nerve,lumbosacral pelvic afferents,extracellular recording,colon
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