Combined genetic and pharmacological inhibition of TRPV1 and P2X3 attenuates colorectal hypersensitivity and afferent sensitization

Michael E. Kiyatkin, Bin Feng, Erica S. Schwartz, G. F. Gebhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The ligand- gated channels transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and P2X3 have been reported to facilitate colorectal afferent neuron sensitization, thus contributing to organ hypersensitivity and pain. In the present study, we hypothesized that TRPV1 and P2X3 cooperate to modulate colorectal nociception and afferent sensitivity. To test this hypothesis, we employed TRPV1-P2X3 double knockout (TPDKO) mice and channel-selective pharmacological antagonists and evaluated combined channel contributions to behavioral responses to colorectal distension (CRD) and afferent fiber responses to colorectal stretch. Baseline responses to CRD were unexpectedly greater in TPDKO compared with control mice, but zymosan-produced CRD hypersensitivity was absent in TPDKO mice. Relative to control mice, proportions of mechanosensitive and -insensitive pelvic nerve afferent classes were not different in TPDKO mice. Responses of mucosal and serosal class afferents to mechanical probing were unaffected, whereas responses of muscular (but not muscular/mucosal) afferents to stretch were significantly attenuated in TPDKO mice; sensitization of both muscular and muscular/mucosal afferents by inflammatory soup was also significantly attenuated. In pharmacological studies, the TRPV1 antagonist A889425 and P2X3 antagonist TNP-ATP, alone and in combination, applied onto stretch-sensitive afferent endings attenuated responses to stretch; combined antagonism produced greater attenuation. In the aggregate, these observations suggest that 1) genetic manipulation of TRPV1 and P2X3 leads to reduction in colorectal mechanosensation peripherally and compensatory changes and/or disinhibition of other channels centrally, 2) combined pharmacological antagonism produces more robust attenuation of mechanosensation peripherally than does antagonism of either channel alone, and 3) the relative importance of these channels appears to be enhanced in colorectal hypersensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G638-G648
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Pelvic nerve
  • Purinergic receptor
  • Single fiber
  • Transient receptor potential
  • Visceral pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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