PMID: 1437Dec 1, 1975

Demonstration of a nonadrenergic inhibitory nervous system in the trachea of the guinea pig

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
J B Richardson, T Bouchard


A nonadrenergic inhibitory nervous system has been demonstrated in the guinea pig trachea. Electrical field stimulation of this system, in the presence of adrenergic and cholinergic blockade, resulted in relaxation of tracheal rings contracted by the mediators of immediate hypersensitivity or histamine. The relaxation was blocked by tetrodotoxin, which indicated that nerve stimulation was responsible for the relaxation. The gastrointestinal tract, which has a similar embryological origin to the respiratory tract, also has a nonadrenergic inhibitory system. In the gastrointestinal tract, this system is thought to be responsible for the relaxation phase of peristalsis, and absence of this system, in the colon and the rectum, is thought to be an explanation for the spastic bowel in Hirschsprung's disease. It is possible that an abnormality of the respiratory nonadrenergic inhibitory system may play a role in the pathogenesis of the hyperreactive airways in asthma. The airways, due to a lack of inhibition, may be either partially contracted or unable to relax, and thus appear hyperreactive to stimuli.


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