Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2008; 12 (5): 41-51

Motor control of the stomach

M. Schemann, M. Rohn, K. Michel

Human Biology, Technische Universität München, Freising (Germany)

Abstract. – Gastric motility is controlled at various levels including the enteric nervous system (ENS). The gastric ENS is involved in the regulation of accommodation reflexes as well as of the peristaltic waves which are responsible for grinding and emptying. Polarised projections consisting of ascending cholinergic and descending nitrergic muscle motor neurons make up the hard wired circuits for control of muscle activity. In an isolated flat sheet preparation of the gastric corpus we investigated stretch evoked responses. The responses at the site of the distension as well as proximal and distal to the distension consisted of a cholinergic excitation whereas a nitrergic inhibition was only observed at the site of the distension stimulus. At all sites the responses were significantly reduced by the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin suggesting a neural component. In addition the nicotinic blocker hexamethonium reduced the responses at all sites to the same degree as tetrodotoxin which indicated the strong contribution of ascending and descending cholinergic interneurons. The reflexes of isolated gastric corpus preparations to distension are dominated by excitatory responses. Only the muscle response at the site of distension exhibited an inhibitory response which is usually dominated by the cholinergic excitatory response.

Corresponding Author: Michael Schemann, MD; e-mail:

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To cite this article

M. Schemann, M. Rohn, K. Michel
Motor control of the stomach

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2008
Vol. 12 - N. 5
Pages: 41-51