Indexed on: 09 May '07Published on: 09 May '07Published in: Digestive Diseases and Sciences
Aim of this study was to examine excitability and responsiveness of lumbosacral spinal neurons to colorectal distension (CRD) in rats with colitis induced by dextran sulphate sodium (DSS). Extracellular potentials of single L6-S2 spinal neurons were recorded in pentobarbital anesthetized and paralyzed rats. Results showed that 40/154 (26%) and 53/156 (34%) neurons responded to noxious CRD (80 mmHg, 20 s) in DSS-treated and control animals, respectively. Neurons with long-lasting and low-threshold excitatory responses to CRD were more frequently encountered in DSS-treated than in control groups (P < 0.05). The mean maximal excitatory responses of neurons to noxious CRD in DSS-treated animals were significantly greater and the duration of responses was longer than those in control animals (P < 0.05). It was suggested that lumbosacral spinal neurons with colorectal input had increased excitability and responsiveness following colitis, which might play an important role in development of colonic hypersensitivity and viscerosomatic referred pain.