Neural regulation of slow-wave frequency in the murine gastric antrum

Abigail S. Forrest, Tamás Ördög, Kenton M. Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Gastric peristaltic contractions are driven by electrical slow waves modulated by neural and humoral inputs. Excitatory neural input comes primarily from cholinergic motor neurons, but ACh causes depolarization and chronotropic effects that might disrupt the normal proximal-to-distal spread of gastric slow waves. We used intracellular electrical recording techniques to study cholinergic responses in stomach tissues from wild-type and W/WV mice. Electrical field stimulation (5 Hz) enhanced slow-wave frequency. These effects were abolished by atropine and the muscarinic M3-receptor antagonist 4-diphenylacetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methiodide. ACh released from nerves did not depolarize antral muscles. At higher rates of stimulation (10 Hz), chronotropic effects were mediated by ACh and a noncholinergic transmitter and blocked by muscarinic antagonists and neurokinin (NK1 and NK 2)-receptor antagonists. Neostigmine enhanced slow-wave frequency, suggesting that the frequency of antral pacemakers is kept low by efficient metabolism of ACh. Neostigmine had no effect on slow-wave frequency in muscles of W/Wν mice, which lack intramuscular interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC-IM). These muscles also showed no significant chronotropic response to 5-Hz electrical field stimulation or the cholinergic agonist carbachol. The data suggest that the chronotropic effects of cholinergic nerve stimulation occur via ICC-IM in the murine stomach. The capacity of gastric muscles to metabolize ACh released from enteric motor neurons contributes to the maintenance of the proximal-to-distal slow-wave frequency gradient in the murine stomach. ICC-IM play a critical role in neural regulation of gastric motility, and ICC-IM become the dominant pacemaker cells during sustained cholinergic drive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G486-G495
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Enteric nervous system
  • Functional bowel disorders
  • Gastric emptying
  • Interstitial cells of Cajal
  • Pacemaker
  • Tachygastria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Neural regulation of slow-wave frequency in the murine gastric antrum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this