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Long-term treatment with naproxen changes the chemical coding of the porcine intramural duodenum neurons.

Due to numerous therapeutic applications and high availability, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most widely used drugs worldwide. However, long-term use of these drugs can lead to damage to the gastrointestinal mucosa. The enteric nervous system (ENS), which is part of the autonomic nervous system, controls most aspects of gastrointestinal activity. Enteric neurons are characterized by considerable chemical plasticity and the appearance of a pathological factor results in a change in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of naproxen on expression of biologically active substances by intramural neurons supplying the porcine duodenum. The study was performed on eight immature pigs of the Pietrain x Duroc race (approximately 20kg of body weight). The animals were divided into two groups - a control (C group) and an experimental group (N group). Group C (n=4) consisted of animals which received empty gelatine capsules. Group N (n=4) was composed of pigs who received naproxen orally for 28 days, approximately one hour before feeding. After this time, animals from both groups were euthanized. Frozen sections (14μm thickness) were then prepared from the collected duodenum and subjected to double immunofluorescence staining. Antibodies against the neuronal marker PGP 9.5 and against vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), substance P (SP), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), galanin (GAL), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) and cocaine- and amphetamine- regulated transcript peptide (CART) were used as primary antibodies. The polyclonal donkey anti-rabbit, anti-mouse and anti-guinea pig IgG antibodies - Alexa Fluor 488 and 546 - were also used for staining. Analysis of the results obtained with a fluorescence microscope showed a significant increase in the number of nNOS-, VIP-, GAL-, PACAP- and CART-immunoreactive ganglionated neurons and a decrease in the number of SP-positive neurons in the myenteric and submucosal plexuses of the porcine duodenum. The obtained results indicate the participation of enteric neurotransmitters in the neuronal duodenal response to naproxen-induced inflammation.

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