1. Intracellular recordings were obtained from circular smooth muscle fibres of the canine fundus, corpus, antrum and pylorus as well as from the human corpus and antrum. 2. In the canine stomach, all regions of the stomach except the fundus exhibited spontaneous action potentials. 3. The spontaneous action potential consisted of an upstroke potential and a plateau potential. 4. There were regional differences in the configuration of the plateau potential. Corporal and antral smooth muscle did not normally spike during the plateau potential whereas terminal antral and pyloric muscle usually showed spikes on top of the plateau potential. Near the intermediate sphincter, there was a zone of transition in which oscillations in potential of variable amplitude were superimposed on the plateau potential. 5. The configuration of the action potential of the human stomach was similar to the configuration of the canine action potential when the same region of the stomach was compared. 6. The ionic dependence of the plateau potential was studied in canine stomach in an area where neither oscillations nor spikes occurred. 7. In clacium‐free solution, all spontaneous activity stopped. D600 selectively suppressed the size of the plateau potential. 8. Sodium‐deficient solution reduced the size of the plateau potential. 9. These results suggest that both calcium and sodium may be involved as current carriers in the generation of the plateau potential.
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