Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Neuroinflammation as an etiological trigger for depression comorbid with inflammatory bowel disease
    Craig, CF ; Filippone, RT ; Stavely, R ; Bornstein, JC ; Apostolopoulos, V ; Nurgali, K (BMC, 2022-01-04)
    Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) suffer from depression at higher rates than the general population. An etiological trigger of depressive symptoms is theorised to be inflammation within the central nervous system. It is believed that heightened intestinal inflammation and dysfunction of the enteric nervous system (ENS) contribute to impaired intestinal permeability, which facilitates the translocation of intestinal enterotoxins into the blood circulation. Consequently, these may compromise the immunological and physiological functioning of distant non-intestinal tissues such as the brain. In vivo models of colitis provide evidence of increased blood-brain barrier permeability and enhanced central nervous system (CNS) immune activity triggered by intestinal enterotoxins and blood-borne inflammatory mediators. Understanding the immunological, physiological, and structural changes associated with IBD and neuroinflammation may aid in the development of more tailored and suitable pharmaceutical treatment for IBD-associated depression.
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    Correction to: Enteric neuroimmune interactions coordinate intestinal responses in health and disease.
    Wang, H ; Foong, JPP ; Harris, NL ; Bornstein, JC (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-01)
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    Nitric Oxide Regulates Estrus Cycle Dependent Colonic Motility in Mice
    Balasuriya, GK ; Nugapitiya, SS ; Hill-Yardin, EL ; Bornstein, JC (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-09-29)
    Women are more susceptible to functional bowel disorders than men and the severity of their symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating changes over the menstrual cycle, suggesting a role for sex hormones in gastrointestinal function. Nitric oxide (NO) is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the gut and blockade of nitric oxide synthase (NOS; responsible for NO synthesis) increases colonic motility in male mice ex vivo. We assessed the effects of NOS inhibition on colonic motility in female mice using video imaging analysis of colonic motor complexes (CMCs). To understand interactions between NO and estrogen in the gut, we also quantified neuronal NOS and estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-expressing myenteric neurons in estrus and proestrus female mice using immunofluorescence. Mice in estrus had fewer CMCs under control conditions (6 ± 1 per 15 min, n = 22) compared to proestrus (8 ± 1 per 15 min, n = 22, One-way ANOVA, p = 0.041). During proestrus, the NOS antagonist N-nitro-L-arginine (NOLA) increased CMC numbers compared to controls (189 ± 46%). In contrast, NOLA had no significant effect on CMC numbers during estrus. During estrus, we observed more NOS-expressing myenteric neurons (48 ± 2%) than during proestrus (39 ± 1%, n = 3, p = 0.035). Increased nuclear expression of ERα was observed in estrus which coincided with an altered motility response to NOLA in contrast with proestrus when ERα was largely cytoplasmic. In conclusion, we confirm a cyclic and sexually dimorphic effect of NOS activity in female mouse colon, which could be due to genomic effects of estrogens via ERα.
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    A sexually dimorphic effect of cholera toxin: rapid changes in colonic motility mediated via a 5-HT3 receptor-dependent pathway in female C57Bl/6 mice
    Balasuriya, GK ; Hill-Yardin, EL ; Gershon, MD ; Bornstein, JC (WILEY, 2016-08-01)
    KEY POINTS: Cholera causes more than 100,000 deaths each year as a result of severe diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration due to the actions of cholera toxin; more females than males are affected. Cholera toxin induces hypersecretion via release of mucosal serotonin and over-activation of enteric neurons, but its effects on gastrointestinal motility are not well characterized. We found that cholera toxin rapidly and reversibly reduces colonic motility in female mice in oestrus, but not in males or females in prooestrus, an effect mediated by 5-HT in the colonic mucosa and by 5-HT3 receptors. We show that the number of mucosal enterochromaffin cells containing 5-HT changes with the oestrous cycle in mice. These findings indicate that cholera toxin's effects on motility are rapid and depend on the oestrous cycle and therefore can help us better understand differences in responses in males and female patients. ABSTRACT: Extensive studies of the mechanisms responsible for the hypersecretion produced by cholera toxin (CT) have shown that this toxin produces a massive over-activation of enteric neural secretomotor circuits. The effects of CT on gastrointestinal motility, however, have not been adequately characterized. We investigated effects of luminal CT on neurally mediated motor activity in ex vivo male and female mouse full length colon preparations. We used video recording and spatiotemporal maps of contractile activity to quantify colonic migrating motor complexes (CMMCs) and resting colonic diameter. We compared effects of CT in female colon from wild-type and mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH1KO). We also compared CMMCs in colons of female mice in oestrus with those in prooestrus. In female (but not male) colon, CT rapidly, reversibly and concentration-dependently inhibits CMMC frequency and induces a tonic constriction. These effects were blocked by granisetron (5-HT3 antagonist) and were absent from TPH1KO females. CT effects were prominent at oestrus but absent at prooestrus. The number of EC cells containing immunohistochemically demonstrable serotonin (5-HT) was 30% greater in female mice during oestrus than during prooestrus or in males. We conclude that CT inhibits CMMCs via release of mucosal 5-HT, which activates an inhibitory pathway involving 5-HT3 receptors. This effect is sex- and oestrous cycle-dependent and is probably due to an oestrous cycle-dependent change in the number of 5-HT-containing EC cells in the colonic mucosa.
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    Enteric neuroimmune interactions coordinate intestinal responses in health and disease
    Wang, H ; Foong, JPP ; Harris, NL ; Bornstein, JC (SPRINGERNATURE, 2021-09-01)
    The enteric nervous system (ENS) of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract interacts with the local immune system bidirectionally. Recent publications have demonstrated that such interactions can maintain normal GI functions during homeostasis and contribute to pathological symptoms during infection and inflammation. Infection can also induce long-term changes of the ENS resulting in the development of post-infectious GI disturbances. In this review, we discuss how the ENS can regulate and be regulated by immune responses and how such interactions control whole tissue physiology. We also address the requirements for the proper regeneration of the ENS and restoration of GI function following the resolution of infection.
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    Luminal 5-HT4 receptors-A successful target for prokinetic actions
    Gwynne, RM ; Bornstein, JC (WILEY, 2019-10-01)
    The prokinetic effects of 5-HT4 receptor (5-HT4 R) agonists have been utilized clinically for almost three decades to relieve symptoms of constipation. Surprisingly, the mechanism(s) of action of these compounds is still being debated. Recent studies highlight luminal 5-HT4 Rs as an alternative and effective target for these prokinetic agents. These include the study by Shokrollahi et al (2019, Neurogastroenterol Motil, e13598) published in the current issue of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, who found that activation of mucosal 5-HT4 Rs by intraluminal prucalopride, significantly enhanced propulsive motor patterns in rabbit colon. The authors highlight the idea that development of agonists targeting luminal 5-HT4 Rs in the colonic mucosa might be more effective and safer in achieving prokinetic effects on intestinal motility. The purpose of this mini-review is to discuss the evidence for luminal 5-HT4 Rs as an emerging target for prokinetic agents in facilitating propulsive motor patterns in the colon.
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    Oxaliplatin-induced enteric neuronal loss and intestinal dysfunction is prevented by co-treatment with BGP-15
    McQuade, RM ; Stojanovska, V ; Stavely, R ; Timpani, C ; Petersen, AC ; Abalo, R ; Bornstein, JC ; Rybalka, E ; Nurgali, K (WILEY, 2018-02-01)
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy are an under-recognized clinical problem, leading to dose reduction, delays and cessation of treatment, presenting a constant challenge for efficient and tolerated anti-cancer treatment. We have found that oxaliplatin treatment results in intestinal dysfunction, oxidative stress and loss of enteric neurons. BGP-15 is a novel cytoprotective compound with potential HSP72 co-inducing and PARP inhibiting properties. In this study, we investigated the potential of BGP-15 to alleviate oxaliplatin-induced enteric neuropathy and intestinal dysfunction. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Balb/c mice received oxaliplatin (3 mg·kg-1 ·day-1 ) with and without BGP-15 (15 mg·kg-1 ·day-1 : i.p.) tri-weekly for 14 days. Gastrointestinal transit was analysed via in vivo X-ray imaging, before and after treatment. Colons were collected to assess ex vivo motility, neuronal mitochondrial superoxide and cytochrome c levels and for immunohistochemical analysis of myenteric neurons. KEY RESULTS: Oxaliplatin-induced neuronal loss increased the proportion of neuronal NO synthase-immunoreactive neurons and increased levels of mitochondrial superoxide and cytochrome c in the myenteric plexus. These changes were correlated with an increase in PARP-2 immunoreactivity in the colonic mucosa and were attenuated by BGP-15 co-treatment. Significant delays in gastrointestinal transit, intestinal emptying and pellet formation, impaired colonic motor activity, reduced faecal water content and lack of weight gain associated with oxaliplatin treatment were restored to sham levels in mice co-treated with BGP-15. CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Our results showed that BGP-15 ameliorated oxidative stress, increased enteric neuronal survival and alleviated oxaliplatin-induced intestinal dysfunction, suggesting that BGP-15 may relieve the gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy.
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    scRNA-Seq Reveals New Enteric Nervous System Roles for GDNF, NRTN, and TBX3
    Wright, CM ; Schneider, S ; Smith-Edwards, KM ; Mafra, F ; Leembruggen, AJL ; Gonzalez, M ; Kothakapa, DR ; Anderson, JB ; Maguire, BA ; Gao, T ; Missall, TA ; Howard, MJ ; Bornstein, JC ; Davis, BM ; Heuckeroth, RO (ELSEVIER INC, 2021-04-22)
    BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Bowel function requires coordinated activity of diverse enteric neuron subtypes. Our aim was to define gene expression in these neuron subtypes to facilitate development of novel therapeutic approaches to treat devastating enteric neuropathies, and to learn more about enteric nervous system function. METHODS: To identify subtype-specific genes, we performed single-nucleus RNA-seq on adult mouse and human colon myenteric plexus, and single-cell RNA-seq on E17.5 mouse ENS cells from whole bowel. We used immunohistochemistry, select mutant mice, and calcium imaging to validate and extend results. RESULTS: RNA-seq on 635 adult mouse colon myenteric neurons and 707 E17.5 neurons from whole bowel defined seven adult neuron subtypes, eight E17.5 neuron subtypes and hundreds of differentially expressed genes. Manually dissected human colon myenteric plexus yielded RNA-seq data from 48 neurons, 3798 glia, 5568 smooth muscle, 377 interstitial cells of Cajal, and 2153 macrophages. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated differential expression for BNC2, PBX3, SATB1, RBFOX1, TBX2, and TBX3 in enteric neuron subtypes. Conditional Tbx3 loss reduced NOS1-expressing myenteric neurons. Differential Gfra1 and Gfra2 expression coupled with calcium imaging revealed that GDNF and neurturin acutely and differentially regulate activity of ∼50% of myenteric neurons with distinct effects on smooth muscle contractions. CONCLUSION: Single cell analyses defined genes differentially expressed in myenteric neuron subtypes and new roles for TBX3, GDNF and NRTN. These data facilitate molecular diagnostic studies and novel therapeutics for bowel motility disorders.
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    mGluR(1) receptors contribute to non-purinergic slow excitatory transmission to submucosal VIP neurons of guinea-pig ileum
    Foong, JPP ; Bornstein, JC (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2009-01-01)
    Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) immunoreactive secretomotor neurons in the submucous plexus are involved in mediating bacterial toxin-induced hypersecretion leading to diarrhoea. VIP neurons become hyperexcitable after the mucosa is exposed to cholera toxin, which suggests that the manipulation of the excitability of these neurons may be therapeutic. This study used standard intracellular recording methods to systematically characterize slow excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) evoked in submucosal VIP neurons by different stimulus regimes (1, 3 and 15 pulse 30 Hz stimulation), together with their associated input resistances and pharmacology. All slow EPSPs were associated with a significant increase in input resistance compared to baseline values. Slow EPSPs evoked by a single stimulus were confirmed to be purinergic, however, slow EPSPs evoked by 15 pulse trains were non-purinergic and those evoked by 3 pulse trains were mixed. NK(1) or NK(3) receptor antagonists did not affect slow EPSPs. The group I mGluR receptor antagonist, PHCCC reduced the amplitude of purinergic and non-purinergic slow EPSPs. Blocking mGluR(1) receptors depressed the overall response to 3 and 15 pulse trains, but this effect was inconsistent, while blockade of mGluR(5) receptors had no effect on the non-purinergic slow EPSPs. Thus, although other receptors are almost certainly involved, our data indicate that there are at least two pharmacologically distinct types of slow EPSPs in the VIP secretomotor neurons: one mediated by P2Y receptors and the other in part by mGluR(1) receptors.
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    Luminal cholera toxin alters motility in isolated guinea-pig jejunum via a pathway independent of 5-HT3 receptors
    Fung, C ; Ellis, M ; Bornstein, JC (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2010-01-01)
    Cholera toxin (CT) is well established to produce diarrhea by producing hyperactivity of the enteric neural circuits that regulate water and electrolyte secretion. Its effects on intestinal motor patterns are less well understood. We examined the effects of luminal CT on motor activity of guinea-pig jejunum in vitro. Segments of jejunum were cannulated at either end and mounted horizontally. Their contractile activity was video-imaged and the recordings were used to construct spatiotemporal maps of contractile activity with CT (1.25 or 12.5 μg/ml) in the lumen. Both concentrations of CT induced propulsive motor activity in jejunal segments. The effect of 1.25 μg/ml CT was markedly enhanced by co-incubation with granisetron (5-HT(3) antagonist, 1 μM), which prevents the hypersecretion induced by CT. The increased propulsive activity was not accompanied by increased segmentation and occurred very early after exposure to CT in the presence of granisetron. Luminal CT also reduced the pressure threshold for saline distension evoked propulsive reflexes, an effect resistant to granisetron. In contrast, CT prevented the induction of segmenting contractions by luminal decanoic acid, so its effects on propulsive and segmenting contractile activity are distinctly different. Thus, in addition to producing hypersecretion, CT excites propulsive motor activity with an entirely different time course and pharmacology, but inhibits nutrient-induced segmentation. This suggests that CT excites more than one enteric neural circuit and that propulsive and segmenting motor patterns are differentially regulated.