Sensory nerves and pancreatitis

Qingfu Li, Jie Peng


Sensory nerves are a kind of nerve that conduct afferent impulses from the periphery receptors to the central nervous system (CNS) and are able to release neuromediators from the activated peripheral endings. Sensory nerves are particularly important for microcirculatory response, and stimulation of pancreatic sensory nerves releases a variety of neuropeptides such as substance P (SP), calcitonin generelated peptide (CGRP), etc., leading to neurogenic inflammation characterized as the local vasodilatation and plasma extravasation. Deactivation of sensory nerves often leads to the disturbances of pancreatic microcirculation. Pancreatitis is a common digestive disease that can lead to severe complications and even death if it goes untreated. Experimental studies in animals and tissue analysis in patients with pancreatitis have shown significant changes in sensory nerves supplying the pancreatic gland. Thus making clear the whole mechanism of pancreatitis is essential to treat and cure it. Sensory nerves may have a close correlation with the development of pancreatitis, and knowing more about the role of sensory nerve in pancreatitis is important for the treatment for pancreatitis. This review is aimed to summarize the relationship between sensory nerves and pancreatitis.