Bile acids induce Ca2+ signaling and membrane permeabilizations in vagal nodose ganglion neurons

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Bile acids (BAs) play an important role in the digestion of dietary fats and act as signaling molecules. However, due to their solubilizing properties, high concentrations in the gut may negatively affect gut epithelium and possibly afferent fibers innervating the gastrointestinal tract (GI). To determine the effect of BAs on intracellular Ca2+ and membrane permeabilization we tested a range of concentrations of two BAs on vagal nodose ganglion (NG) neurons, Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO), and PC12 cell lines. NG explants from mice were drop-transduced with the genetically encoded Ca2+ indicator AAV9-Syn-jGCaMP7s and used to measure Ca2+ changes upon application of deoxycholic acid (DCA) and taurocholic acid (TCA). We found that both BAs induced a Ca2+ increase in NG neurons in a dose-dependent manner. The DCA-induced Ca2+ increase was dependent on intracellular Ca2+ stores. NG explants, with an intact peripheral part of the vagus nerve, showed excitation of NG neurons in nerve field recordings upon exposure to DCA. The viability of NG neurons at different BA concentrations was determined, and compared to CHO and PC12 cells lines using propidium iodide labeling, showing threshold concentrations of BA-induced cell death at 400–500 μM. These observations suggest that BAs act as Ca2+-inducing signaling molecules in vagal sensory neurons at low concentrations, but induce cell death at higher concentrations, which may occur during inflammatory bowel diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101288
JournalBiochemistry and Biophysics Reports
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Bile acids, Ca signaling, Pathology, Vagal afferents

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