Background: Ginger has been used as an herbal medicine worldwide to relieve nausea/vomiting and gastrointestinal discomfort, but the cellular and molecular mechanisms of its neuronal action remain unclear. The present study aimed to determine the effects of ginger constituent 6-shogaol on gastroesophageal vagal nodose C-fibers. Methods: Extracellular single-unit recording and two-photon nodose neuron imaging were performed, respectively, in ex vivo gastroesophageal-vagal preparations from wild type and Pirt-GCaMP6 transgenic mice. The action potential discharge or calcium influx evoked by mechanical distension and chemical perfusions applied to the gastroesophageal vagal afferent nerve endings were recorded, respectively, at their intact neuronal cell soma in vagal nodose ganglia. The effects of 6-shogaol on nodose C-fiber neurons were then compared and determined. Key Results: Gastroesophageal application of 6-shogaol-elicited intensive calcium influxes in nodose neurons and evoked robust action potential discharges in most studied nodose C-fibers. Such activation effects were followed by a desensitized response to the second application of 6-shogaol. However, action potential discharges evoked by esophageal mechanical distension, after 6-shogaol perfusion, did not significantly change. Pretreatment with TRPA1 selective blocker HC-030031 inhibited 6-shogaol-induced action potential discharges in gastric and esophageal nodose C-fiber neurons, suggesting that TRPA1 played a role in mediating 6-shogaol-induced activation response. Conclusion and Inferences: This study provides evidence that ginger constituent 6-shogaol directly activates vagal afferent C-fiber peripheral gastrointestinal endings. This activation leads to desensitization to subsequent application of 6-shogaol but not subsequent esophageal mechanical distension. Further investigation is required to establish a possible contribution in its anti-emetic effects.
- gastrointestinal tract
- ginger constituent
- vagal afferent
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems