Effects of substance P on identified neurons of the rat dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus

M. W. Lewis, R. A. Travagli

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27 Scopus citations


Previous evidence suggests that substance P (SP) activates subpopulations of neurons within the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV). In this study we aimed at identifying these subpopulations in relation to their gastrointestinal projection organs or vagal branches and characterizing pharmacologically the SP response. Using whole cell patch-clamp recordings from identified gastrointestinal-projecting vagal motoneurons, we found that SP induced an inward current in all neuronal groups except for cecum-projecting cells. The lowest percentage of SP-responding neurons was found in fundus-projecting cells, where SP also had a concentration-response curve that was shifted to the left (P < 0.05). Independently from the projections, the SP response was reduced by sendide and MEN 10,376 and mimicked by a combination of [Sar9-Met(O2)11]SP and α-neurokinin. SP and α-neurokinin also increased the frequency, but not the amplitude, of postsynaptic currents. In conclusion, we demonstrated that SP induces both pre- and postsynaptic effects on DMV neurons via activation of neurokinin NK1 and NK2 receptors. The magnitude of the SP response was correlated to the peripheral target organ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G164-G172
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1 44-1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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