Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) in the brainstem: Role of Pavlov’s vagally mediated cephalic phase of gastric secretion


  • Yvette Taché University of California


Ключевые слова:

dorsal vagal complex, cephalic phase, gastric secretion, thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH), TRH receptor, sham feeding, vagus


Pavlov’s seminal observation that sham feeding in dogs stimulates gastric acid secretion through the vagus nerve pioneered the concept of the cephalic phase of digestion. This has been subsequently extended to a wide range of mammals including humans. In the last decades, experimental evidence in rats established that the three amino acid peptide thyrotropinreleasing hormone (TRH) expressed in the brainstem plays a key role in the vagal stimulation of digestive secretory-motor function. The dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMN) neurons expresses TRH receptor subtype 1 (TRH-R1) and receives input of TRH containing fibers arising from TRH synthesizing neurons in medullary raphe nuclei. The activation of TRHTRH-R1 signaling excites the firing of DMN neurons leading to the activation of vagal efferent discharges and gastric myenteric cholinergic neurons. This results in a vagally mediated and atropine-sensitive stimulation of gastric secretory and propulsive motor function, along with duodenal and pancreatic secretion. Importantly, the blockade of TRH or TRH-R1 in the brainstem inhibits the gastric acid response to sham feeding in rats. Collectively, these convergent data support the physiological relevance of medullary TRHTRH-R1 signaling as the end effector of the vagally mediated stimulation of digestive process in the cephalic phase.

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