Recent reports indicate the presence of low grade inflammation in functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), in these cases often called "post-inflammatory" FGIDs. However, suitable animal models to study these disorders are not available. The Biobreeding (BB) rat consists of a diabetes-resistant (BBDR) and a diabetes-prone (BBDP) strain. In the diabetes-prone strain, 40-60% of the animals develop diabetes and concomitant nitrergic dysfunction. Our aim was to investigate the occurrence of intestinal inflammation, nitrergic dysfunction and intestinal dysmotility in non-diabetic animals.
Jejunal inflammation (MPO assay, Hematoxylin&Eosin staining and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA expression), in vitro jejunal motility (video analysis) and myenteric neuronal numbers (immunohistochemistry) were assessed in control, normoglycaemic BBDP and diabetic BBDP rats. To study the impact of iNOS inhibition on these parameters, normoglycaemic BBDP rats were treated with aminoguanidine.
Compared to control, significant polymorphonuclear (PMN) cell infiltration, enhanced MPO activity, increased iNOS mRNA expression and a decreased ratio of nNOS to Hu-C/D positive neurons were observed in both normoglycaemic and diabetic BBDP rats. Aminoguanidine treatment decreased PMN infiltration, iNOS mRNA expression and MPO activity. Moreover, it restored the ratio of nNOS to Hu-C/D positive nerves in the myenteric plexus and decreased the abnormal jejunal elongation and dilation observed in normoglycaemic BBDP rats.
Aminoguanidine treatment counteracts the inflammation-induced nitrergic dysfunction and prevents dysmotility, both of which are independent of hyperglycaemia in BB rats. Nitrergic dysfunction may contribute to the pathophysiology of "low-grade inflammatory" FGIDs. Normoglycaemic BBDP rats may be considered a suitable animal model to study the pathogenesis of FGIDs.