Novel nervous system mechanisms in visceral painNovel nervous system mechanisms in visceral pain
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Laboratory Experimental Medicine and Pediatrics (LEMP)
2016Hoboken :Wiley-blackwell, 2016
Neurogastroenterology and motility / European Gastrointestinal Motility Society. - Cambridge, Mass., 1994, currens
28(2016):3, p. 309-315
University of Antwerp
Visceral hypersensitivity is an important factor underlying abdominal pain in functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and can result from aberrant signaling from the gut to the brain or vice versa. Over the last two decades, research has identified several selective, intertwining pathways that underlie IBS-related visceral nociception, including specific receptors on afferent and efferent nerve fibers such as transient receptor potential channels (TRP) channels, opioid, and cannabinoid receptors. In this issue of Neurogastroenterology and Motility Gil etal. demonstrate that in an animal model with reduced descending inhibitory control, the sympathetic nervous system outflow is enhanced, contributing to visceral and somatic hypersensitivity. They also provide evidence that interfering with the activation of adrenergic receptors on sensory nerves can be an interesting new strategy to treat visceral pain in IBS. This mini-review places these findings in a broader perspective by providing an overview of promising novel mechanisms to alter the nervous control of visceral pain interfering with afferent or efferent neuronal signaling.