Glucose-dependent trafficking of 5-HT3 receptors in rat gastrointestinal vagal afferent neurons

T. Babic, A. E. Troy, S. R. Fortna, K. N. Browning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background Intestinal glucose induces gastric relaxation via vagally mediated sensory-motor reflexes. Glucose can alter the activity of gastrointestinal (GI) vagal afferent (sensory) neurons directly, via closure of ATP-sensitive potassium channels, and indirectly, via the release of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) from mucosal enteroendocrine cells. We hypothesized that glucose may also be able to modulate the ability of GI vagal afferent neurons to respond to the released 5-HT, via regulation of neuronal 5-HT3 receptors. Methods Whole-cell patch clamp recordings were made from acutely dissociated GI-projecting vagal afferent neurons exposed to equiosmolar Krebs' solution containing different concentrations of d-glucose (1.25-20mmolL-1) and the response to picospritz application of 5-HT assessed. The distribution of 5-HT3 receptors in neurons exposed to different glucose concentrations was also assessed immunohistochemically. Key Results Increasing or decreasing extracellular d-glucose concentration increased or decreased, respectively, the 5-HT-induced inward current and the proportion of 5-HT3 receptors associated with the neuronal membrane. These responses were blocked by the Golgi-disrupting agent Brefeldin-A (5μmolL-1) suggesting involvement of a protein-trafficking pathway. Furthermore, l-glucose did not mimic the response of d-glucose implying that metabolic events downstream of neuronal glucose uptake are required to observe the modulation of 5-HT3 receptor mediated responses. Conclusions & Inferences These results suggest that, in addition to inducing the release of 5-HT from enterochromaffin cells, glucose may also increase the ability of GI vagal sensory neurons to respond to the released 5-HT, providing a means by which the vagal afferent signal can be amplified or prolonged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e476-e488
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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