Relationship between colonic motility and cholinergic mechanosensory afferent synaptic input to mouse superior mesenteric ganglion

S. M. Miller, J. H. Szurszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Abdominal prevertebral ganglion neurones receive excitatory synaptic input from intestinofugal neurones. To better understand the physiological significance of this input, we examined the relationship between synaptic input to mouse superior mesenteric ganglion (SMG) neurones and intracolonic pressure and volume changes that accompany spontaneous colonic contractions in vitro. Electrical activity was recorded intracellularly from SMG neurones in ganglia attached to a segment of distal colon. The majority of neurones examined received ongoing fast excitatory potentials (F-EPSPs). F-EPSP frequency increased when the colon was distended with fluid and during spontaneous increases in colonic volume that accompanied colonic relaxation. In contrast, F-EPSP frequency in SMG neurones decreased when the colon emptied, and remained at a reduced frequency until the colon refilled and volume increased. Nicotinic blockade of the colon abolished spontaneous colonic contractions and reduced or abolished synaptic input to SMG neurones, suggesting that most of the synaptic input arose from second or higher order neurones. Retrograde labelling identified cell bodies of intestinofugal neurones in myenteric ganglia. Most had short, club-like dendritic processes and appeared uni-axonal. These results show that mechanosensory intestinofugal afferent nerves monitor intracolonic volume changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-348
Number of pages10
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Colonic mechanosensory input
  • Intestino-intestino reflex
  • Intestinofugal neurones
  • Superior mesenteric ganglion
  • Sympathetic neurones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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