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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

PAR-2 agonists induce contraction of murine small intestine through neurokinin receptors.

Protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) is a G protein-coupled receptor and is expressed throughout the gut. It is well known that PAR-2 participates in the regulation of gastrointestinal motility; however, the results are inconsistent. The present study investigated the effect and mechanism of PAR-2 activation on murine small intestinal smooth muscle function in vitro. Both trypsin and PAR-2-activating peptide SLIGRL induced a small relaxation followed by a concentration-dependent contraction. The sensitivity to trypsin was greater than that to SLIGRL (EC50 = 0.03 vs. 40 microM), but maximal responses were similar (12.3 +/- 1.6 vs. 13.7 +/- 1.3 N/cm2). Trypsin-evoked contraction (1 microM) exhibited a rapid desensitization, whereas the desensitization of response to SLIGRL was less even at high concentration (50 microM). Atropine had no effect on PAR-2 agonist-induced contractions. In contrast, TTX and capsaicin significantly attenuated those contractions, implicating a neurogenic mechanism that may involve capsaicin-sensitive sensory nerves. Furthermore, contractions induced by trypsin and SLIGRL were reduced by neurokinin receptor NK1 antagonist SR-140333 or NK2 antagonist SR-48968 alone or were further reduced by combined application of SR-140333 and SR-48968, indicating the involvement of neurokinin receptors. In addition, desensitizing neurokinin receptors with substance P and/or neurokinin A decreased the PAR-2 agonist-evoked contraction. We concluded that PAR-2 agonists induced a contraction of murine intestinal smooth muscle that was mediated by nerves. The excitatory effect is also dependent on sensory neural pathways and requires both NK1 and NK2 receptors.[1]


  1. PAR-2 agonists induce contraction of murine small intestine through neurokinin receptors. Zhao, A., Shea-Donohue, T. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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