Indiscriminate loss of myenteric neurones in the TNBS-inflamed guinea-pig distal colon


Gary M. Mawe PhD, Given D403, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.
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Abstract  This investigation was conducted to establish whether guinea-pig trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-colitis was associated with a change in the number of neurones of the myenteric plexus, and, if so, whether select subpopulations of neurones were affected. Total neurones were quantified with human (Hu) antiserum, and subpopulations were evaluated with antisera directed against choline acetyltransferase, nitric oxide synthase, calretinin, neuronal nuclear protein or vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). Colitis was associated with a loss of 20% of the myenteric neurones, most of which occurred during the first 12 h past-TNBS administration. During this period, myenteric ganglia were infiltrated with neutrophils while lymphocytes appeared at a later time-point. The neuronal loss persisted at a 56-day time-point, when inflammation had resolved. The decrease in myenteric neurones was not associated with a decrease in any given subpopulation of neurones, but the proportion of VIP-immunoreactive neurones increased 6 days following TNBS administration and returned to the control range at the 56 days. These findings indicate that there is an indiscriminant loss of myenteric neurones that occurs during the onset of TNBS-colitis, and the loss of neurones may be associated with the appearance of neutrophils in the region.