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Interdependency between mechanical parameters and afferent nerve discharge in remodeled diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rat intestine

Authors Zhao J, Yang J, Liao D, Gregersen H

Received 28 June 2017

Accepted for publication 27 October 2017

Published 1 December 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 303—314


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Koulaouzidis

Jingbo Zhao,1 Jian Yang,1 Donghua Liao,1 Hans Gregersen2

1Giome Academia, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; 2Giome Center, Department of Surgery, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong

Background: Gastrointestinal disorders are very common in diabetic patients, but the pathogenesis is still not well understood. Peripheral afferent nerves may be involved due to the complex regulation of gastrointestinal function by the enteric nervous system.
Objective: We aimed to characterize the stimulus–response function of afferent fibers innervating the jejunum in the Goto-Kakizaki (GK) type 2 diabetic rat model. A key question is whether changes in afferent firing arise from remodeled tissue or from adaptive afferent processes.
Design: Seven 32-week-old male GK rats and seven age-matched normal Wistar rats were studied. Firing from mesenteric afferent nerves was recorded in excised jejunal segments of seven GK rats and seven normal Wistar rats during ramp test, stress relaxation test, and creep test. The circumferential stress–strain, spike rate increase ratio (SRIR), and single unit firing rates were calculated for evaluation of interdependency of the mechanical stimulations and the afferent nerve discharge.
Results: Elevated sensitivity to mechanical stimuli was found for diabetic nerve bundles and single unit activity (P<0.05). The stress relaxed less in the diabetic intestinal segment (P<0.05). Linear association between SRIR and the thickness of circumferential muscle layer was found at high stress levels as well as for SRIR and the glucose level.
Conclusion: Altered viscoelastic properties and elevated mechanosensitivity were found in the GK rat intestine. The altered nerve signaling is related to muscle layer remodeling and glucose levels and may contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms experienced by diabetic patients.

Keywords: afferents, spike rate, stress–strain, creep, stress relaxation, small intestine, type 2 diabetes

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