In this project we propose to use a new approach to characterise and st the enteric innervation of tbe mucosa of the colon. The neurons innervating the mucosa will be first labelled with a retrograde tracer. The labelled and functionally identified neurons will then be characterised by using the simultaneous combination of electrophysiological, pharmacological and immunohistochemical methods.
Microelectrode recordings of membrane potential will be performed from labelled neurons and their response to various putative neurotransmitters examined. Finally. the projections of the labelled neurons will be determined as well as their neurochemical coding. A special emphasis will be put on the characterisation of intrinsic sensory neurons.
Such knowledge is of great importance to understand physiological and pathological processes controlled by the various classes of neurons innervating the mucosa. This study should also provide for the first time the link between the new-onal characteristics and the effector systems.