Neural mechanisms mediating hypersecretion and motility patterns induced by enterotoxins [ 2003 - 2005 ]

Also known as: The role of nerve cells in the diarrhoea caused by cholera and other intestinal diseases

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Joel Bornstein (Principal investigator)

Brief description This project aims to identify the nerve cells that are responsible for the massive oversecretion of water and salt seen with cholera and other diseases producing diarrhoea. Many of these disease act through specific toxins and, although the biochemical targets of these toxins are reasonably well understood, the nerve cells on which they act have never been identified. Furthermore, the mechanisms that couple the oversecretion with a massive increase in the propulsive activity of the intestine are also unknown. We will investigate each of these questions using the small intestine of the guinea-pig, because the nerve circuit in this preparation is better understood than that of any other. Nerve cells that respond to three specific toxins, each known to activate the nervous system via different mechanisms, will be determined using intracellular recording methods, injection of marker dyes and methods that allow the identification of their neurochemistry. This will allow the functions of responsive nerve cells to be identified and their places in the circuits that control secretion and propulsion to be determined. This information will be correlated with studies in whole animals being undertaken in Sweden so that potential sites for intervention can be identified.

Funding Amount $AUD 415,250.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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