Pressure overload changes mesenteric afferent nerve responses in a stress-dependent way in a fasting rat model

Lingxia Bao, Jingbo Zhao, Donghua Liao, Guixue Wang, Hans Gregersen

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2 Citations (Scopus)


It is well known that overload changes the mechanical properties of biological tissues and fasting changes the responsiveness of intestinal afferents. This study aimed to characterize the effect of overload on mechanosensitivity in mesenteric afferent nerves in normal and fasted Sprague-Dawley rats. Food was restricted for 7 days in the Fasting group. Jejunal whole afferent nerve firing was recorded during three distensions, i.e., ramp distension to 80 cmH2O luminal pressure (D1), sustained distension to 120 cmH2O for 2 min (D2), and again to 80 cmH2O (D3). Multiunit afferent recordings were separated into low-threshold (LT) and wide-dynamic-range (WDR) single-unit activity for D1 and D3. Intestinal deformation (strain), distension load (stress), and firing frequency of mesenteric afferent nerve bundles [spike rate increase ratio (SRIR)] were compared at 20 cmH2O and 40 cmH2O and maximum pressure levels among distensions and groups. SRIR and stress changes showed the same pattern in all distensions. The SRIR and stress were larger in the Fasting group compared to the Control group (P < 0.01). SRIR was lower in D3 compared to D1 in controls (P < 0.05) and fasting rats (P < 0.01). Total single units and LT were significantly lower in Fasting group than in Controls at D3. LT was significantly higher in D3 than in D1 in Controls. Furthermore, correlation was found between SRIR with stress (R = 0.653, P < 0.001). In conclusion, overload decreased afferent mechanosensitivity in a stress-dependent way and was most pronounced in fasting rats. Fasting shifts LT to WDR and high pressure shifts WDR to LT in response to mechanical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1741-1753
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Distension
  • Fasting
  • High pressure
  • Mechanosensitivity
  • Mesenteric afferents


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