Depolarization evoked co-release of tachykinins from enteric nerves in the guinea-pig proximal colon
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The aim of this study was to assess at which extent an even co-release of the tachykinins, substance P (SP) and neurokinin A (NKA), occurs from enteric neurons/nerves of the guinea-pig proximal colon during graded depolarization. In this preparation, a sharply diverging NK1/NK2 receptor pattern of tachykininergic co-transmission has been observed in physiological studies. The experiments were performed in capsaicin-pretreated (10μM for 15min) mucosa-free smooth muscle of guinea-pig proximal colon, to exclude the mucosa and the peripheral endings of primary afferent nerves as possible sources of released tachykinins. The content of extractable tachykinins was measured as SP- and NKA-like immunoreactivities (-LI) by radioimmunoassay. Chromatographic characterization of aqueous acetic acid extracts showed one peak of SP-LI corresponding to authentic SP, whereas there were multiple peaks of NKA-LI, the major one co-eluting with authentic NKA. An increased outflow of both SP- and NKA-LI was evenly produced in a concentration-dependent manner when the preparations were superfused with a high potassium (K) medium in which NaCl had been replaced with equimolar amounts (20–100mM) of KCl. The high K-evoked release of SP- and NKA-LI was dependent upon the presence of extracellular calcium and was inhibited by about 50% in the presence of the N-type voltage-dependent calcium channel blocker, ω-conotoxin GVIA (0.1μM). ω-Conotoxin MVIIC (1μM), a non-selective blocker of N-, P- and Q-type voltage-dependent calcium channels, likewise produced about 40% inhibition of evoked release of both peptides. No evidence for a role of L-type channels in tachykinin release was obtained, since the addition of nifedipine (1μM) or Bay K8644 (1μM) did not significantly affect the response to high K. Neither NK1 receptor agonist (septide, 0.1μM) or antagonist(SR 140333, 10nM) nor NK2 receptor agonists ([βAla8]NKA(4-10) and GR 64349, 0.1μM each) or antagonist (SR 48968, 10nM) did affect the high K-evoked release of tachykinins. We conclude that SP and NKA are evenly co-released in response to graded depolarization of enteric nerves in the guinea-pig colon. Therefore, the specialization of tachykininergic transmission observed in functional studies does not originate at the prejunctional level. The co-release of tachykinins involves the influx of extracellular calcium via N-type but not L-type calcium channels. No evidence for the presence of NK1 or NK2 autoreceptors affecting tachykinin release from enteric neurons was obtained.