PMID: 7932234Jun 15, 1994Paper

The role of enteric inhibitory motoneurons in peristalsis in the isolated guinea-pig small intestine

The Journal of Physiology
S A Waterman, M Costa


1. Peristalsis is a co-ordinated motor behaviour in which an anally propagated contraction of the circular muscle propels intraluminal contents. The role of excitatory motoneurons in peristalsis is well established; however the role of enteric inhibitory motoneurons is unknown. 2. A combination of a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor and apamin, which blocks relaxation of the circular muscle of guinea-pig small intestine mediated by enteric inhibitory motoneurons, was used to investigate the role of inhibitory motoneurons in peristalsis in isolated segments of guinea-pig small intestine. 3. N omega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 400 microM) and N omega-nitro-L-arginine (L-NOArg, 100 microM) significantly reduced the threshold volume required to trigger emptying of the intestine. This effect was reversed by L-arginine (4 mM) and L-arginine alone increased the threshold volume for initiation of peristalsis. Sodium nitroprusside (0.1-10 microM), which generates nitric oxide, also increased the threshold volume. L-NAME, L-NOArg, L-arginine and sodium nitroprusside did not alter the maximal intraluminal pressure generated during emptying. Contraction of the longitudinal muscle during the initial phase of fluid infusion was sign...Continue Reading


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