Developmental origins of colon smooth muscle dysfunction in IBS-like rats

Qingjie Li, John H. Winston, Sushil K. Sarna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Epidemiological studies show that subsets of adult and pediatric patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have prior exposures to psychological or inflammatory stress. We investigated the cellular mechanisms of colonic smooth muscle dysfunction in adult rats subjected to neonatal inflammation. Ten-day-old male rat pups received 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid to induce colonic inflammation. Colonic circular smooth muscle strips were obtained 6 to 8 wk later. We found that about half of the neonate pups subjected to inflammatory insult showed a significant increase in expression of the pore-forming α1C-subunit of Cav1.2b channels in adult life. These were the same rats in whom Vip mRNA increased in the colon muscularis externae. Additional experiments showed reduced interaction of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 3 with α1C1b promoter that increased the acetylation of histone H3 lysine 9 (H3K9) in the core promoter region. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) treatment of naïve muscularis externae swiftly recruited CREB-binding protein (CBP) to the α1C1b promoter and dissociated HDAC3 from this region to initiate transcription. The CBP interaction with the α1C1b promoter was transient, but the dissociation of HDAC3 persisted to sustain H3K9 hyperacetylation and increase in transcription. Intraperitoneal treatment of adult naïve rats with butyrate mimicked the effects of neonatal colon inflammation. We concluded that neonatal inflammation upregulates VIP in the colon muscularis externae, which modulates epigenetic events at the α1C1b promoter to activate α1C1b gene transcription. Inflammatory insult in early life may be one of the etiologies of smooth muscle dysfunction in adult life, which contributes to the altered motility function in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G503-G512
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • Cell signaling
  • Motility
  • Smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Developmental origins of colon smooth muscle dysfunction in IBS-like rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this