5-Hydroxytryptamine selectively activates the vagal nodose C-fibre subtype in the guinea-pig oesophagus

S. Yu, F. Ru, A. Ouyang, M. Kollarik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The afferent neurons innervating the oesophagus originate from two embryonic sources: neurons located in vagal nodose ganglia originate from embryonic placodes and neurons located in vagal jugular and spinal dorsal root ganglia (DRG) originate from the neural crest. Here, we address the hypothesis that 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) differentially stimulates afferent nerve subtypes in the oesophagus. Extracellular recordings of single unit activity originating from nerve terminals were made in the isolated innervated guinea-pig oesophagus. Whole cell patch clamp recordings (35 °C) were made from the primary afferent neurons retrogradely labelled from the oesophagus. 5-Hydroxytryptamine (10 μmol L-1) activated vagal nodose C-fibres (70%) in the oesophagus but failed to activate overtly vagal jugular nerve fibres and oesophagus-specific spinal DRG neurons. The response to 5-HT in nodose C-fibre nerve terminals was mimicked by the selective 5-HT3 receptor agonist 2-methyl-5-HT (10 μmol L-1) and nearly abolished by the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists ondansetron (10 μmol L -1) and Y-25130 (10 μmol L-1). In patch clamp studies, 2-methyl-5-HT (10 μmol L-1) activated a proportion of isolated oesophagus-specific nodose capsaicin-sensitive neurons (putative cell bodies of nodose C-fibres). We conclude that the responsiveness to 5-HT discriminates placode-derived (vagal nodose) C-fibres from the neural crest-derived (vagal jugular and spinal DRG) afferent nerves in the oesophagus. The response to 5-HT in nodose C-fibres is mediated by the 5-HT3 receptor in their neuronal membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1042-1050
Number of pages9
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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