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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Mar 2023 - 17 Mar 2023

Basic Science

Animal Studies, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Abdominal/Pelvic Pain

2023 Mar 10

Eur J Pharmacol


Losartan attenuates acetic acid enema-induced visceral hypersensitivity by inhibiting the ACE1/Ang II/AT1 receptor axis in enteric glial cells.


Sun Y, Liu X, Wang L, Li L, Quan X, Shi H, Wang T, Mei L, Chen Y, Zhang Y, Li J, Meng R, Wang J, Dai F


Enteric glial cells (EGCs) play an important role in visceral hypersensitivity associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Losartan (Los) is known to reduce pain; however, its function in IBS is unclear. The present study aimed to investigate Los’s therapeutic effect on visceral hypersensitivity in IBS rats. Thirty rats were randomly divided into control, acetic acid enema (AA), AA + Los low, medium and high dose groups in vivo. EGCs were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Los in vitro. The molecular mechanisms were explored by assessing the expression of EGC activation markers, pain mediators, inflammatory factors and angiotensin-converting enzyme 1(ACE1)/angiotensin II (Ang II)/Ang II type 1 (AT1) receptor axis molecules in colon tissue and EGCs. The results showed that the rats in the AA group showed significantly higher visceral hypersensitivity than the control rats, which was alleviated by different doses of Los. The expression of GFAP, S100β, substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) was considerably increased in colonic tissues of AA group rats and LPS-treated EGCs compared with control rats and EGCs, and reduced by Los. In addition, Los reversed ACE1/Ang II/AT1 receptor axis upregulation in AA colon tissues and LPS-treated EGCs. These results show that Los inhibits ACE1/Ang II/AT1 receptor axis upregulation by suppressing EGC activation, resulting in reduced expression of pain mediators and inflammatory factors, thereby alleviating visceral hypersensitivity.