Nitrergic mechanisms mediating inhibitory control of longitudinal smooth muscle contraction in mouse small intestine

Tatsuya Ueno, Judith A. Duenes, Abdalla E. Zarroug, Michael G. Sarr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Studies using genetic manipulation to investigate mechanisms of control of physiologic function often necessitate mouse models. However, baseline functional analysis of murine small intestinal motility has not been well defined. Our aim was to define nitrergic mechanisms regulating mouse small intestinal longitudinal muscle. Endogenous nitric oxide (NO) is an important neuroregulatory substance mediating inhibition of contractile activity in murine small bowel. Full-thickness muscle strips of jejunum and ileum from C57BL/6 mice (n ≥6 mice) cut in the direction of longitudinal muscle were studied. Numerous conditions of electrical field stimulation (EFS) and effects of exogenous NO and NO donors were studied in the absence or presence of inhibitors of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and 1H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazaolo-[4,3-a]-quinoxalin-1- one (ODQ), a downstream inhibitor of guanylyl cyclase. EFS induced a frequency-dependent inhibition of contractile activity in both jejunum and ileum (P < 0.05). As the voltage of EFS was increased, inhibition turned to excitation in the jejunum; in contrast, the ileum demonstrated a voltage-dependent increasing inhibition (P < 0.05 each). EFS-induced inhibition was blocked by NOS inhibitors and ODQ. NO donors inhibited spontaneous contractile activity abolished by ODQ. NO appears to be an endogenous inhibitory neurotransmitter in murine longitudinal small bowel muscle. Nitrergic mechanisms mediate inhibitory control of murine longitudinal small intestinal muscle. Differences exist in neuroregulatory control between jejunum and ileum that may be related to their known difference in motor patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-841
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2004


  • Contractility
  • Electrical field stimulation
  • Guanylyl cyclase
  • Longitudinal smooth muscle
  • Mouse
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide synthase
  • Smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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