Role of the Enteric Nervous System in the Fluid and Electrolyte Secretion of Rotavirus Diarrhea

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Science  21 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5452, pp. 491-495
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5452.491

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The mechanism underlying the intestinal fluid loss in rotavirus diarrhea, which often afflicts children in developing countries, is not known. One hypothesis is that the rotavirus evokes intestinal fluid and electrolyte secretion by activation of the nervous system in the intestinal wall, the enteric nervous system (ENS). Four different drugs that inhibit ENS functions were used to obtain experimental evidence for this hypothesis in mice in vitro and in vivo. The involvement of the ENS in rotavirus diarrhea indicates potential sites of action for drugs in the treatment of the disease.

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