What is the effect of vascular function in the pathogenesis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? According to Centers for Disease Control data, there are approximately 3 million people with IBD in the U.S. population, with more than 7,000 new cases of IBD diagnosed every year. IBD patients are at greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease compared to age-matched peers. Listen as Consulting Editor Camilla Wenceslau (University of Toledo) interviews senior author Erika Boerman (University of Missouri) and expert Pooneh Bagher (Texas A&M Health Science Center) about this novel study by Norton et al. Decreased blood flow to the gut is a diagnostic hallmark of IBD, and sensory neurotransmitters calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P are considered biomarkers of IBD. Using pressure myography to study mesenteric arteries in an interleukin-10 knockout mouse model, Boerman and collaborators investigated the activation of perivascular sensory nerves, which control gastrointestinal tract blood flow. When Boerman and co-authors first blocked substance P receptors and then stimulated sensory nerves, sensory vasodilation was rescued in the IBD vessels. A surprising finding was that the substance P pathway seemed to interfere with the CGRP pathway, preventing normal sensory vasodilation. Does Boerman estimate that an influx of immune cells into the gut, interacting with sensory neurotransmitters, is a factor in IBD pathogenesis? Listen as these experts discuss the mechanisms that impact reduced blood flow and tissue ischemia which leads to IBD, and the unanswered questions which may help to unravel the link between IBD and cardiovascular disease.
Charles E. Norton, Elizabeth A. Grunz-Borgmann, Marcia L. Hart, Benjamin W. Jones, Craig L. Franklin, Erika M. Boerman Role of perivascular nerve and sensory neurotransmitter dysfunction in inflammatory bowel disease Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published April 22, 2021. DOI: doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00037.2021