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Pubmed-Regional brain activation during rectal distention and attenuation with alosetron in a nonhuman primate model of irritable bowel syndrome

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FASEB Bioadv. 2022 Aug 30;4(11):694-708. doi: 10.1096/fba.2022-00048. eCollection 2022 Nov.


Greater understanding of the mechanism that mediates visceral pain and hypersensitivity associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) would facilitate the development of effective therapeutics to manage these symptoms. An objective marker associated with the underlying mechanisms of visceral pain and hypersensitivity could be used to guide therapeutic development. The current study examined brain activation evoked by rectal distention with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a cynomolgus macaque model of visceral hypersensitivity. Male, cynomolgus macaques underwent five four-week treatments of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-distilled water (DW), which induced mild-moderate colitis with remission during each treatment cycle. Balloon rectal distention (RD) was performed under anesthesia 14 weeks after the final DSS-DW treatment. Colonoscopy confirmed the absence of colitis prior to the start of RD. In naïve, untreated macaques, 10, 20 and 30 ml RD did not evoke brain activation. However, insular cortex/somatosensory II cortex and cerebellum were significantly activated in DSS-treated macaques at 20 and 30 ml rectal distention. Intra-rectal pressure after DSS treatment was not significantly different from that of naïve, untreated macaques, indicating lack of alteration of rectal functioning following DSS-treatment. Treatment with 5-HT3 receptor antagonist alosetron (p.o.) reduced distension-evoked brain activation and decreased intra-rectal pressure. The current findings demonstrated activation of brain regions to RD following DSS treatments which was not present in naïve macaques, suggesting visceral hypersensitivity. Brain activation in turn was reduced by alosetron, which could underlie the analgesic effect alosetron in IBS patients.

PMID:36349296 | PMC:PMC9635009 | DOI:10.1096/fba.2022-00048

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