P044 Enteric dopaminergic pathways in mouse and human intestinal inflammation

Cerantola, S.(1);Faggin, S.(1);Caputi, V.(2);Cortese, V.(1);Bosi, A.(3);Banfi, D.(3);Rambaldo, A.(4);Porzionato, A.(4);Giaroni, C.(3);Savarino, E.V.(5);Giron, M.C.(1);

(1)University of Padova, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, Padova, Italy;(2)University of Arkansas, Department of Poultry Science, Fayetteville, United States;(3)University of Insubria, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Varese, Italy;(4)University of Padova, Department of Neuroscience, Padova, Italy;(5)University of Padova, Department of Surgery- Oncology and Gastroenterology, Padova, Italy;


Changes in dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) and anomalies in dopaminergic machinery have been shown in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and related animal models. Thus, we aimed to evaluate the dopaminergic pathways in IBD patients as well as in a mouse model of dextran sodium sulphate (DSS)-induced ileitis.


Colon biopsies (CB) obtained from healthy volunteers (N=3) and matched-IBD patients (N=3), were used to evaluate DBH immunoreactivity by confocal microscopy. Male C57/Bl6 (8±2 weeks old; N=16 mice) received 1.5% DSS in drinking water for 5 days, then switched to regular drinking water for 3 days. Inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNFα, IL-6) were measured to assess ileitis severity. Changes in ileal muscle tension were isometrically recorded following 30 μM dopamine or 30 μM SKF38393 (a dopamine receptor 1 (D1R) agonist) or 30 μM bromocriptine (a D2R agonist). Immunofluorescence distribution of Iba1 (a macrophage specific marker), D1R, DBH and dopamine transporter (DAT) were determined in longitudinal muscle-myenteric plexus whole-mount preparations (LMMPs) by confocal microscopy. D1R and D2R mRNA transcripts were evaluated by qRT-PCR.


CB from IBD patients and LMMPs from DSS mice showed a significant increase of DBH immunoreactivity compared to healthy patients and sham mice (+25% [p<0.01], +20% [p<0.01], respectively). DSS treatment caused a significant increase of DAT and D1R immunoreactivity as well as D1R mRNA levels (+27% [p<0.05], +24% [p<0.05], +6-fold [p<0.05], respectively), accompanied by a significant reduction of dopamine-mediated relaxation (-27% [p<0.01]). SKF38393 determined a marked inhibitory response in ileal preparations from DSS mice compared to sham mice (+73% [p<0.01]), suggesting that dopamine responses are mainly mediated through D1R. A 2-fold increase of resident Iba1+ macrophages was observed in the myenteric plexus of DSS mice associated with a 2.9- and 1.5-fold enhancement of IL-6 and IL-1β mRNA levels, respectively.


Human colitis and mouse ileitis affect dopamine machinery in the enteric nervous system. Experimentally induced ileitis impairs dopaminergic neurotransmission altering D1R-mediated responses. These findings provide novel information on the involvement of dopaminergic pathways in IBD.