I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 17 Oct 2020 - 23 Oct 2020

2020 Oct 21

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol

Spinal neuron-glia-immune interaction in cross-organ sensitization.


Qiao LY, Tiwari N
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2020 Oct 21.
PMID: 33084399.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), historically considered as regional gastrointestinal disorders with heightened colonic sensitivity, are increasingly recognized to have concurrent dysfunction of other visceral and somatic organs, such as urinary bladder hyperactivity, leg pain, and skin hypersensitivity. The inter-organ sensory crosstalk is, at large, termed 'cross-organ sensitization'. These organs, anatomically distant from one another, physiologically interlock through projecting their sensory information into dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and then the spinal cord for integrative processing. The fundamental question of how sensitization of colonic afferent neurons conveys nociceptive information to activate primary afferents that innervate distant organs remains ambiguous. In DRG, primary afferent neurons are surrounded by satellite glial cells (SGCs) and macrophage accumulation in response to signals of injury to form neuron-glia-macrophage triad. Astrocytes and microglia are major resident non-neuronal cells in the spinal cord to interact, physically and chemically, with sensory synapses. Cumulative evidence gathered so far indicate the indispensable roles of paracrine/autocrine interactions among neurons, glial cells, and immune cells in sensory cross-activation. Dichotomizing afferents, sensory convergency in the spinal cord, spinal nerve comingling, and extensive sprouting of central axons of primary afferents each has significant roles in the process of cross-organ sensitization, however, more results are required to explain their functional contributions. DRG that are located outside the blood-brain-barrier and reside upstream in the cascade of sensory flow from one organ to the other in cross-organ sensitization could be safer therapeutic targets to produce less central adverse effects.