Patricia A Blennerhassett

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BACKGROUND & AIMS Alterations in the microbial composition of the gastrointestinal tract (dysbiosis) are believed to contribute to inflammatory and functional bowel disorders and psychiatric comorbidities. We examined whether the intestinal microbiota affects behavior and brain biochemistry in mice. METHODS Specific pathogen-free (SPF) BALB/c mice, with(More)
BACKGROUND The probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 normalizes anxiety-like behavior and hippocampal brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in mice with infectious colitis. Using a model of chemical colitis we test whether the anxiolytic effect of B. longum involves vagal integrity, and changes in neural cell function. Methods  Mice received dextran(More)
T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13, which activate signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) are expressed in the muscularis externa during nematode infection and are candidate mediators of the associated hypercontractility. To determine the locus of action of these cytokines, we examined the IL-4- and IL-13-induced(More)
BACKGROUND & AIMS Clinical and preclinical studies have associated gastrointestinal inflammation and infection with altered behavior. We investigated whether chronic gut inflammation alters behavior and brain biochemistry and examined underlying mechanisms. METHODS AKR mice were infected with the noninvasive parasite Trichuris muris and given etanercept,(More)
Crohn's disease is an idiopathic inflammatory condition. However, little is known about the changes that occur in the muscularis externa, despite the fact that this tissue contributes to motility changes and stricture formation. We characterized immune activity in the muscularis externa from intestinal segments of Crohn's disease patients and evaluated the(More)
BACKGROUND & AIMS The recently proposed Inflammatory Reflex describes an interaction between the vagus nerve and peripheral macrophages, resulting in attenuation of proinflammatory cytokine release in response to systemic exposure to bacterial endotoxin. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a similar vagus/macrophage axis modulates the(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Abdominal pain and discomfort are common symptoms in functional disorders and are attributed to visceral hypersensitivity. These symptoms fluctuate over time but the basis for this is unknown. Here we examine the impact of changes in gut flora and gut inflammatory cell activity on visceral sensitivity. METHODS Visceral sensitivity to(More)
Intestinal nematode infections are accompanied by mucosal inflammation and an increase in propulsive motor activity that may contribute to parasite eviction from the gut. To examine whether differences in worm expulsion correspond to the increased intestinal muscle contractility that accompanies nematode infection, we studied mice with genetically(More)
We examined the release of acetylcholine (ACh) from jejunal longitudinal muscle-myenteric plexus preparations in noninfected control rats and in rats infected 6, 23, or 40 days previously with Trichinella spiralis. ACh release was assessed by preincubating the tissue with [3H]choline and measuring the evoked release of tritium. The uptake of 3H was(More)
BACKGROUND Even though inflammation is a traditional tool for the induction of hyperalgesia in many tissues, recent observations suggest that not all inflammatory processes produce this change. Tolerance to colorectal distension (CRD) is reduced in patients with acute ulcerative colitis but is increased in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease.(More)