Published online Nov 14, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i42.7594
Peer-review started: July 28, 2017
First decision: September 26, 2017
Revised: October 4, 2017
Accepted: October 18, 2017
Article in press: October 19, 2017
Published online: November 14, 2017
To establish a rat model of anxiety-like gastric hypersensitivity (GHS) of functional dyspepsia (FD) induced by novel sequential stress.
Animal pups were divided into two groups from postnatal day 2: controls and the sequential-stress-treated. The sequential-stress-treated group received maternal separation and acute gastric irritation early in life and restraint stress in adulthood; controls were reared undisturbed with their mothers. Rats in both groups were followed to adulthood (8 wk) at which point the anxiety-like behaviors and visceromotor responses to gastric distention (20-100 mmHg) and gastric emptying were tested. Meanwhile, alterations in several anxiety-related brain-stomach modulators including 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nesfatin-1 in the rat hippocampus, plasma and gastric fundus and the 5-HT1A receptor (5-HT1AR) in the hippocampal CA1 subfield and the mucosa of the gastric fundus were examined.
Sequential-stress-treated rats simultaneously demonstrated anxiety-like behaviors and GHS in dose-dependent manner compared with the control group. Although rats in both groups consumed similar amount of solid food, the rate of gastric emptying was lower in the sequential-stress-treated rats than in the control group. Sequential stress significantly decreased the levels of 5-HT (51.91 ± 1.88 vs 104.21 ± 2.88, P < 0.01), GABA (2.38 ± 0.16 vs 5.01 ± 0.13, P < 0.01) and BDNF (304.40 ± 10.16 vs 698.17 ± 27.91, P < 0.01) in the hippocampus but increased the content of nesfatin-1 (1961.38 ± 56.89 vs 1007.50 ± 33.05, P < 0.01) in the same site; significantly decreased the levels of 5-HT (47.82 ± 2.29 vs 89.45 ± 2.61, P < 0.01) and BDNF (257.05 ± 12.89 vs 536.71 ± 20.73, P < 0.01) in the plasma but increased the content of nesfatin-1 in it (1391.75 ± 42.77 vs 737.88 ± 33.15, P < 0.01); significantly decreased the levels of 5-HT (41.15 ± 1.81 vs 89.17 ± 2.31, P < 0.01) and BDNF (226.49 ± 12.10 vs 551.36 ± 16.47, P < 0.01) in the gastric fundus but increased the content of nesfatin-1 in the same site (1534.75 ± 38.52 vs 819.63 ± 38.04, P < 0.01). The expressions of 5-HT1AR in the hippocampal CA1 subfield and the mucosa of the gastric fundus were down-regulated measured by IHC (Optical Density value: Hippocampus 15253.50 ± 760.35 vs 21149.75 ± 834.13; gastric fundus 15865.25 ± 521.24 vs 23865.75 ± 1868.60; P < 0.05, respectively) and WB (0.38 ± 0.01 vs 0.57 ± 0.03, P < 0.01) (n = 8 in each group).
Sequential stress could induce a potential rat model of anxiety-like GHS of FD, which could be used to research the mechanisms of this intractable disease.
Core tip: Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a common gastrointestinal disorder in clinic. Gastric hypersensitivity (GHS) and anxiety are important factors triggering or aggravating it, however, the mechanisms by which affect the development of FD are still unknown. In part, this is due to a lack of suitable animal models of FD with anxiety and GHS. Our study provided such a newly developed rat model induced by sequential stress. It demonstrated the complex behavioral characteristics of anxiety and GHS, and the complicated alterations in some anxiety-related neurobiochemical modulators such as 5-hydroxytryptamine, γ-aminobutyric acid, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nesfatin-1 in the hippocampus, plasma and gastric fundus.