Sabine Buhner

Technische Universität München, München, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (34)176.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background and aims: Malfunctions of enteric neurons are believed to play an important role in the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Our aim was to investigate whether neuronal activity in biopsies from IBS patients is altered in comparison to healthy controls (HC). Methods: Activity of human submucous neurons in response to electrical nerve stimulation and local application of nicotine or a mixture of histamine, serotonin, tryptase, and TNF-α (IBS-cocktail) was recorded in biopsies from 17 HC and 35 IBS patients with the calcium-sensitive-dye Fluo-4 AM. The concentrations of the mediators resembeled those found in biopsy supernatants or blood. Neuronal activity in guinea-pig submucous neurons was studied with the voltage-sensitive-dye di-8-ANEPPS. Results: Activity in submucous ganglia in response to nicotine or electrical nerve stimulation was not different between HC and IBS patients (P = 0.097 or P = 0.448). However, the neuronal response after application of the IBS-cocktail was significantly decreased (P = 0.039) independent of whether diarrhea (n = 12), constipation (n = 5) or bloating (n = 5) was the predominant symptom. In agreement with this we found that responses of submucous ganglia conditioned by overnight incubation with IBS mucosal biopsy supernatant to spritz application of this supernatant was significantly reduced (P = 0.019) when compared to incubation with HC supernatant. Conclusion: We demonstrated for the first time reduced neuronal responses in mucosal IBS biopsies to an IBS mediator cocktail. While excitability to classical stimuli of enteric neurons was comparable to HC, the activation by the IBS-cocktail was decreased. This was very likely due to desensitization to mediators constantly released by mucosal and immune cells in the gut wall of IBS patients.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the discomfort/pain threshold during rectal distension, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients may be subtyped as normo- or hypersensitive. We previously showed that mucosal biopsy supernatants from IBS patients activated enteric and visceral afferent neurons. We tested the hypothesis that visceral sensitivity is linked to the degree of neuronal activation. Normo- and hypersensitive IBS patients were distinguished by their discomfort/pain threshold to rectal balloon distension with a barostat. Using potentiometric and Ca(2+) dye imaging, we recorded the response of guinea pig enteric submucous and mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, respectively, to mucosal biopsy supernatants from normosensitive (n = 12 tested in enteric neurons, n = 9 tested in DRG) and hypersensitive IBS (n = 9, tested in both types of neurons) patients. In addition, we analyzed the association between neuronal activation and individual discomfort/pain pressure thresholds. IBS supernatants evoked Ca(2+) transients in DRG neurons and spike discharge in submucous neurons. Submucous and DRG neurons showed significantly stronger responses to supernatants from hypersensitive IBS patients as reflected by higher spike frequency or stronger [Ca(2+)]i transients in a larger proportion of neurons. The neuroindex as a product of spike frequency or [Ca(2+)]i transients and proportion of responding neurons significantly correlated with the individual discomfort/pain thresholds of the IBS patients. Supernatants from hypersensitive IBS patients caused stronger activation of enteric and DRG neurons. The level of activation correlated with the individual discomfort/pain threshold pressure values. These findings support our hypothesis that visceral sensitivity is linked to activation of peripheral neurons by biopsy supernatants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Experimental physiology
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    ABSTRACT: Scope: Considering the increasing numbers of patients suffering from food allergy (FA) as well as the great variety of novel foods and food compositions, an unmet need exists for the development of preclinical approaches to characterize the allergenic potential of proteins. The aim of our study was to evaluate the allergenicity of different food allergens in a rat model. Methods: Brown Norway rats were sensitized to protein extracts (RuBisCO, apple, soy, peanut, garden pea) or ovalbumin (OVA) combined with Bordetella pertussis and aluminium hydroxide, followed by oral allergen challenges. Results: Allergen-specific serum immunoglobulin production and the proliferation of mononuclear cells from spleen confirmed sensitization. To assess functional alterations in the gut, intestinal permeability was measured, which increased in sensitized and challenged animals compared to non-sensitized controls. Allergens with high allergenic potential (peanut, OVA, soy) caused a stronger immunological response than allergens with low allergenic potential, such as RuBisCO and apple. Moreover, the immunological responses were reduced when using boiled instead of raw soy and pea proteins. Conclusion: This model mimics key features of FA and facilitates investigating the allergenicity of allergens in novel food or food compositions in vivo.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · International Archives of Allergy and Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Compound 48/80 is widely used in animal and tissue models as a "selective" mast cell activator. With this study we demonstrate that compound 48/80 also directly activates enteric neurons and visceral afferents. We used in vivo recordings from extrinsic intestinal afferents together with Ca(++) imaging from primary cultures of DRG and nodose neurons. Enteric neuronal activation was examined by Ca(++) and voltage sensitive dye imaging in isolated gut preparations and primary cultures of enteric neurons. Intraluminal application of compound 48/80 evoked marked afferent firing which desensitized on subsequent administration. In egg albumen-sensitized animals, intraluminal antigen evoked a similar pattern of afferent activation which also desensitized on subsequent exposure to antigen. In cross-desensitization experiments prior administration of compound 48/80 failed to influence the mast cell mediated response. Application of 1 and 10 µg/ml compound 48/80 evoked spike discharge and Ca(++) transients in enteric neurons. The same nerve activating effect was observed in primary cultures of DRG and nodose ganglion cells. Enteric neuron cultures were devoid of mast cells confirmed by negative staining for c-kit or toluidine blue. In addition, in cultured enteric neurons the excitatory action of compound 48/80 was preserved in the presence of histamine H(1) and H(2) antagonists. The mast cell stabilizer cromolyn attenuated compound 48/80 and nicotine evoked Ca(++) transients in mast cell-free enteric neuron cultures. The results showed direct excitatory action of compound 48/80 on enteric neurons and visceral afferents. Therefore, functional changes measured in tissue or animal models may involve a mast cell independent effect of compound 48/80 and cromolyn.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Background: We previously showed that colonic mucosal biopsy supernatants from patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) activate neurons of the human submucous plexus, an area with densely packed immune cells. Based on the concept that mucosa-nerve signaling is altered in IBS, we tested in this study whether the nerve sensitizing effect of IBS mucosal biopsy supernatants is more prominent in the submucous than myenteric plexus. Methods: Fast neuroimaging with the voltage-sensitive dye Di-8-ANEPPS was used to record activity of guinea-pig submucous and myenteric neurons after application of constipation (C)- and diarrhea (D)-IBS supernatants (three each) and four supernatants from healthy control subjects. Results are based on recordings from 4731 neurons. Key results: Control supernatants did not evoke significant responses in submucous or myenteric neurons. In contrast, all IBS supernatants evoked a significant spike discharge (median 3.6 Hz) in 46% of submucous neurons. This activation was significantly stronger than in the myenteric plexus where even twice the amount of supernatants evoked a lower spike frequency (median 2.1Hz) in only 8.5% of neurons. Pharmacological studies revealed serotonin, histamine, and proteases as components mediating neuronal activation. Individual application of these components revealed that only serotonin evoked a significantly stronger activation of submucous compared with myenteric neurons. Conclusions & inferences: Direct neuronal activation by IBS mucosal biopsy supernatants is primarily a feature of submucous rather than myenteric neurons. This is associated with a stronger excitation of submucous neurons by serotonin. The plexus-specific effects support the concept that altered mucosa-nerve signaling underlies disturbances in IBS.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Neurogastroenterology and Motility

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie
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    Sabine Buhner · Michael Schemann
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    ABSTRACT: This paper summarizes the current knowledge on the interactions between intestinal mast cells, enteric neurons and visceral afferents which are part of the gut brain axis. The focus of this review is on the relevance of the mast cell-nerve axis in the human intestine. Similarities and important differences in the organization of the mast cell-nerve axis between human and rodents are discussed. Functionally important human mast cell mediators with neural actions in the human ENS are histamine (H1-4 receptors), proteases (PAR1 receptors), several cytokines and chemokines and probably also serotonin (5-HT(3) receptors). On the other hand, mediator release from human intestinal mast cells is modulated by neuropeptides released from enteric and visceral afferent nerves. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mast Cells in Inflammation.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
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    ABSTRACT: Modulating early immune response by application of bacteria and their by-products has been suggested as a preventive strategy against the development of allergic diseases. In light of this, the aim of the study was to test the effects of oral administration of bacterial lysates (BL) in a rat model of food allergy. BL or PBS were administered orally to neonatal Brown Norway rats up to an age of 42 days. Additionally, animals were sensitized 3 times (days 35, 40 and 45) intraperitoneally with ovalbumin (OVA). On days 60 and 61, rats were locally challenged with OVA by gavage feeding. Detection of increased allergen-specific Ig serum levels and proliferative responses of spleen mononuclear cells confirmed systemic sensitization. In serum of animals that received BL in addition to OVA sensitization, the levels of allergen-specific IgE and IgG were significantly reduced compared to animals which were not exposed to BL. Allergen-stimulated lymphocytes from spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes of BL-treated animals showed a significantly elevated cytokine production of IL-10. To assess local functional changes of the intestinal barrier we measured the intestinal permeability, which was increased in OVA-sensitized and challenged animals compared to nonsensitized controls, yet significantly reduced in sensitized animals which received BL. These data suggest that local administration of BL (pathogen-associated molecular patterns) in the intestine exhibits immuno-modulating effects. Furthermore, pathophysiological features of food allergy, such as the loss of gut mucosal integrity, might be reduced by the treatment with BL.
    No preview · Article · May 2011 · International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Small intestinal function may be altered in decompensated chronic heart failure (CHF) and translocating LPS may contribute to systemic inflammation observed in CHF. We measured intestinal permeability (melibiose and rhamnose), active (3-O-methyl-d-glucose (3-OMG)) and passive (d-xylose) carrier-mediated absorption in 20 CHF patients (12 edematous and 8 non-edematous) and 8 controls by saccharide absorption technique assessing urinary recovery of orally administered sugars. We additionally measured LPS concentrations in 42 patients with decompensated heart failure and after recompensation. CHF patients had a 54% reduction of active carrier-mediated intestinal transport compared to controls (p<0.0001). This reduction was strongest in edematous compared to non-edematous patients and controls (recovery in urine: 13.2±2.0% vs. 20.8±2.4% vs. 36.0 ± 3.7%, all p ≤ 0.05). Patients showed a 34% reduction of passive carrier-mediated transport, strongest in edematous patients (p=0.006). A greater impairment of active carrier-mediated transport remained significant after adjustment for non-mucosal factors in CHF (p=0.0004). Non carrier-mediated intestinal permeability was not altered. Data from 42 decompensated patients showed a decrease in LPS after recompensation (p=0.004). Edematous patients had highest blood concentrations of LPS, TNF and sTNF-R1 (p<0.04). CHF patients with abnormal LPS concentrations >0.50EU/mL (n=7) had the highest concentrations of TNF (7.0 ± 1.6 vs. 3.1 ± 0.3pg/mL, p<0.02), and sTNF-R1 (3499 ± 52 vs. 1599±219 pg/mL, p=0.02). Active carrier-mediated intestinal transport is reduced in decompensated CHF indicating epithelial dysfunction possibly as a consequence of intestinal ischemia. Higher LPS concentrations in edematous CHF relate to inflammation. LPS decreased after recompensation. This suggests a cause/effect relationship between edematous gut wall, epithelial dysfunction and translocating LPS.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · International journal of cardiology

  • No preview · Article · Aug 2010 · Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie
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    ABSTRACT: Pathological features in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) include alterations in mucosal cell content and mediator release that might alter signaling to nearby submucosal neurons. Voltage sensitive dye imaging was used to record the effects of mediators, released from mucosal biopsies of IBS patients, on cell bodies of 1207 submucosal neurons from 76 human colonic tissue specimens. Supernatants, containing these mediators, were collected following incubation with colonic mucosal biopsies from 7 patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS (D-IBS), 4 with constipation-predominant IBS (C-IBS), and 4 healthy controls. Serotonin, histamine and tryptase concentrations in supernatants and lamina propria mast cell density were determined. In contrast to controls, IBS supernatants significantly increased the rate of spike discharge in 58% of human submucosal neurons. Neurons that responded to IBS supernatant had a median spike frequency of 2.4 Hz compared to 0 Hz for control supernatants. Supernatants from C-IBS and D-IBS evoked similar spike discharge. The activation induced by IBS supernatants was inhibited by histamine receptor (H1-H3) antagonists, 5-HT3 receptor antagonist, and protease inhibition. Serotonin, histamine and tryptase levels in supernatants correlated with the spike discharge induced by the supernatants. Mast cells density as well as histamine and tryptase levels in supernatants were higher in IBS than in controls. Mediators released from mucosal biopsies of IBS patients can activate human submucosal neurons. The activation required histamine, serotonin and proteases but was not associated with IBS subtype. Altered signaling between mucosa and the enteric nervous system might be involved in IBS pathogenesis.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Gastroenterology

  • No preview · Article · May 2009 · Gastroenterology
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    ABSTRACT: Gastroduodenal and small intestinal permeability are increased in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and intensive care patients. The relevance of colonic permeability has not yet been adequately investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical value of sucralose excretion as indicator for colonic permeability in these patient groups. After oral administration of four sugars and subsequent analysis of urinary excretion, gastroduodenal and intestinal permeability were calculated from saccharose excretion and lactulose/mannitol (L/M) ratio over 5 h, and sucralose excretion from 5 to 26 h in 100 healthy controls, 29 CD and 35 patients after coronary surgery (CABG). In controls, sucralose excretion was highly variable (0.67+/-0.92%) and not related to small intestinal permeability. In CD and CABG, L/M ratio was increased (0.054+/-0.060; 0.323+/-0.253 vs. 0.018+/-0.001 in controls). Sucralose excretion was increased in 77% of CABG but only in 7% of CD. There was an association between gastroduodenal and intestinal permeability in CD and CABG (r=0.72, and r=0.51), but sucralose excretion was not related to either one of these two parameters. Other than a weak association between sucralose and length of stay in intensive care in CABG patients (P=0.099), sucralose excretion was not related to clinical outcome. The proposed cut-off for normal sucralose excretion is 2.11%, but its high variability and lack of association to gastrointestinal permeability or clinical outcome leave it open, if it can provide information beyond established permeability tests.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2009 · European Journal of Clinical Investigation
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence that STW 5 (Iberogast), fixed combination of hydroethanolic herbal extracts), besides being effective in functional dyspepsia, also improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Clinical data indicate that modulation of mucosal secretion is a promising approach to treat intestinal disorders associated with IBS. We therefore explored the effect of STW 5 on secretion in the human intestine and the mechanisms by which it acts. The Ussing chamber technique was used to measure mucosal secretion in human intestinal mucosa/submucosa preparations and in human epithelial cell line T84. In addition, we recorded STW 5 effects on human enteric neurons with voltage sensitive dye imaging. In human tissue and T84 cells STW 5 induced a dose-dependent increase in ion secretion that was significantly reduced by the Na-K-Cl cotransporter blocker bumetanide, the adenylate cyclase inhibitor MDL-12 330, the non-specific and selective cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) inhibitors glibenclamide and CFTR(inh)-172, respectively, and the blocker of calcium dependent Cl(-) channels (ClCa) SITS (4-acetamido-4-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2-disulphonic acid). It was unaffected by amiloride, a blocker of epithelial Na(+) channels. In human tissue, the nerve blocker tetrodotoxin significantly suppressed the STW 5 response. STW 5 evoked an increased spike discharge in 51% of human submucous neurons. Results suggest that STW 5 is a secretogogue in the human intestine by direct epithelial actions and through activation of enteric neurons. The prosecretory effect is due to increased epithelial Cl(-) fluxes via CFTR and Ca-dependent ClCa channels. STW 5 may be a novel option to treat secretory disorders associated with IBS and constipation.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Neurogastroenterology and Motility

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2008 · Clinical Nutrition Supplements

  • No preview · Article · Oct 2008 · The American Journal of Gastroenterology
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    A Goebel · S Buhner · R Schedel · H Lochs · G Sprotte
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    ABSTRACT: The pain intensity of patients with FM has recently been reported to be correlated with the degree of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO is often associated with an increased intestinal permeability (IP). Increased IP, if shown in FM, may have pathogenetic relevance because it leads to the exposure of immune cells to luminal antigens and consequent immune modulation. It is currently unknown whether IP is altered in FM. We therefore examined the IP in a group of patients with primary FM and in two control groups, healthy volunteers and patients with an unrelated chronic pain syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). We hypothesized that patients with FM, but not volunteers or those patients with CRPS, would have altered IP. Both gastroduodenal and small IP were assessed using an established three-sugar test, where urinary disaccharide excretion reflecting intestinal uptake was measured using HPLC. Forty patients with primary FM, 57 age- and sex-matched volunteers and 17 patients with CRPS were enrolled in this study. In the FM group, 13 patients had raised gastroduodenal permeability and 15 patients had raised small intestinal permeability, but only one volunteer had increased gastroduodenal permeability (P < 0.0001, chi-square test for the three groups). The IP values were significantly increased in the patient groups (P < 0.0003 for all comparisons, one-way analysis of variance). The IPs in primary FM and, unexpectedly, CRPS are increased. This study should stimulate further research to determine the implication of altered IP in the disease pathophysiology of FM and CRPS.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2008 · Rheumatology (Oxford, England)
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    ABSTRACT: This prospective, controlled, and multicentric study evaluated nutritional status, body composition, muscle strength, and quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease in clinical remission. In addition, possible effects of gender, malnutrition, inflammation, and previous prednisolone therapy were investigated. Nutritional status (subjective global assessment [SGA], body mass index, albumin, trace elements), body composition (bioelectrical impedance analysis, anthropometry), handgrip strength, and quality of life were assessed in 94 patients with Crohn's disease (CD; 61 female and 33 male, Crohn's Disease Activity Index 71 +/- 47), 50 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC; 33 female and 17 male, Ulcerative Colitis Activity Index 3.1 +/- 1.5), and 61 healthy control subjects (41 female and 20 male) from centers in Berlin, Vienna, and Bari. For further analysis of body composition, 47 well-nourished patients with inflammatory bowel disease were pair-matched by body mass index, sex, and age to healthy controls. Data are presented as median (25th-75th percentile). Most patients with inflammatory bowel disease (74%) were well nourished according to the SGA, body mass index, and serum albumin. However, body composition analysis demonstrated a decrease in body cell mass (BCM) in patients with CD (23.1 kg, 20.8-28.7, P = 0.021) and UC (22.6 kg, 21.0-28.0, P = 0.041) compared with controls (25.0 kg, 22.0-32.5). Handgrip strength correlated with BCM (r = 0.703, P = 0.001) and was decreased in patients with CD (32.8 kg, 26.0-41.1, P = 0.005) and UC (31.0 kg, 27.3-37.8, P = 0.001) compared with controls (36.0 kg, 31.0-52.0). The alterations were seen even in patients classified as well nourished. BCM was lower in patients with moderately increased serum C-reactive protein levels compared with patients with normal levels. In CD and UC, selected micronutrient deficits and loss of BCM and muscle strength are frequent in remission and cannot be detected by standard malnutrition screening.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2008 · Nutrition

Publication Stats

852 Citations
176.19 Total Impact Points


  • 2007-2014
    • Technische Universität München
      • Chair of Human Biology
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2004-2009
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • • Medical Department, Division of Hepatology and Gastroenterology
      • • Department of Anesthesiology and Operative Intensive Care Medicine
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany