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Pubmed-Brain Neuropeptides, Neuroinflammation, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Digestion. 2023 Sep 6:1-6. doi: 10.1159/000533275. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal symptoms, but its pathogenesis is not fully understood.

SUMMARY: We have recently shown in rats that neuropeptides such as orexin, ghrelin, and oxytocin act in the brain to improve the intestinal barrier dysfunction, which is a major pathophysiology of IBS. We have additionally shown that the neuropeptides injected intracisternally induced a visceral antinociceptive action against colonic distension. Since it has been known that intestinal barrier dysfunction causes visceral hypersensitivity, the other main pathophysiology of IBS, the neuropeptides act centrally to reduce leaky gut, followed by improvement of visceral sensation, leading to therapeutic action on IBS. It has been recently reported that there is a bidirectional relationship between neuroinflammation in the brain and the pathophysiology of IBS. For example, activation of microglia in the brain causes visceral hypersensitivity. Accumulating evidence has suggested that orexin, ghrelin, or oxytocin could improve neuroinflammation in the CNS. All these results suggest that neuropeptides such as orexin, ghrelin, and oxytocin act in the brain to improve intestinal barrier function and visceral sensation and also induce a protective action against neuroinflammation in the brain.

KEY MESSAGES: We therefore speculated that orexin, ghrelin, or oxytocin in the brain possess dual actions, improvement of visceral sensation/leaky gut in the gut, and reduction of neuroinflammation in the brain, thereby inducing a therapeutic effect on IBS in a convergent manner.

PMID:37673052 | DOI:10.1159/000533275

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