Distribution of heme oxygenase and effects of exogenous carbon monoxide in canine jejunum

G. Farrugia, S. M. Miller, A. Rich, X. Liu, M. D. Haines, J. L. Rae, J. H. Szurszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Carbon monoxide (CO) has been postulated to be a messenger in the gastrointestinal tract. The aims of this study were to determine the distribution of heme oxygenase (HO), the source for endogenous CO in the canine jejunum, and to determine the effects of CO on jejunal circular smooth muscle cells. HO-2 isoform was present in a population of myenteric and submucosal neuronal cell bodies, in nerve fibers innervating the muscle layers, and in smooth muscle cells. HO-1 isozyme was not detected in the canine jejunum. Exogenous CO increased whole cell current by 285 ± 86%, hyperpolarized the membrane potential by 8.5 ± 2.9 mV, and increased guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) levels in smooth muscle cells. 8- Bromo-cGMP also increased the whole cell current. The data suggest that endogenous activity of HO-2 may be a source of CO in the canine jejunum and that exogenously applied CO can modulate intestinal smooth muscle electrical activity. It is therefore reasonable to suggest a role for endogenously produced CO as a messenger in the canine jejunum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G350-G358
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number2 37-2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Potassium channels
  • Smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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