Piezo2 channels expressed by colon-innervating TRPV1-lineage neurons mediate visceral mechanical hypersensitivity

Zili Xie, Jing Feng, Timothy J. Hibberd, Bao Nan Chen, Yonghui Zhao, Kaikai Zang, Xueming Hu, Xingliang Yang, Lvyi Chen, Simon J. Brookes, Nick J. Spencer, Hongzhen Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Inflammatory and functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and obstructive bowel disorder (OBD) underlie the most prevalent forms of visceral pain. Although visceral pain can be generally provoked by mechanical distension/stretch, the mechanisms that underlie visceral mechanosensitivity in colon-innervating visceral afferents remain elusive. Here, we show that virally mediated ablation of colon-innervating TRPV1-expressing nociceptors markedly reduces colorectal distention (CRD)-evoked visceromotor response (VMR) in mice. Selective ablation of the stretch-activated Piezo2 channels from TRPV1 lineage neurons substantially reduces mechanically evoked visceral afferent action potential firing and CRD-induced VMR under physiological conditions, as well as in mouse models of zymosan-induced IBS and partial colon obstruction (PCO). Collectively, our results demonstrate that mechanosensitive Piezo2 channels expressed by TRPV1-lineage nociceptors powerfully contribute to visceral mechanosensitivity and nociception under physiological conditions and visceral hypersensitivity under pathological conditions in mice, uncovering potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of visceral pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-538.e4
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Early online date22 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023


  • hypersensitivity
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • partial colon obstruction
  • Piezo2 channels
  • TRPV1-lineage nociceptors
  • visceral mechanosensitivity


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