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J Physiol. 1985 Jun;363:1-20.

Characteristics of the vagally driven non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic inhibitory innervation of ferret gastric corpus.


This paper reports a quantitative in vivo study on the vagal activation of the intramural non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic inhibitory nerves in the ferret gastric corpus. The nature of the inhibitory neurotransmitter was also investigated. In the atropinized, guanethidine-treated, urethane-anaesthetized ferret, electrical stimulation (10 s at 20 V, 1-20 Hz, 0.5 ms pulses) of the cervical vagi produced a prompt fall in intracorpus pressure that was related to the stimulus frequency. The maximal response was achieved at 10 Hz. The time taken for the intracorpus pressure to return to pre-stimulus levels after a 10 s period of stimulation was related to the stimulus frequency; at 10 Hz the pressure took approximately 11 min to recover. In contrast to studies in the cat (Martinson & Muren, 1963), there was no detectable difference in the electrical threshold for activation of the vagal excitatory and vagal inhibitory fibres. The nature of the vagal non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic inhibitory neurotransmitter was investigated using a variety of antagonists and agonists. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), adenosine, alpha beta-methylene ATP and beta gamma-methylene ATP all contracted the corpus in the presence of vagotomy, atropine, guanethidine and indomethacin. The vagally induced fall in corpus pressure was not blocked by high doses of alpha beta-methylene ATP. A variety of peptides were investigated for their effects on corpus pressure in the presence of atropine, guanethidine and vagotomy. Bombesin, pentagastrin, substance P, cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8) and bradykinin all produced an increase in intracorpus pressure. Neurotensin and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) both decreased intracorpus pressure, and of the two VIP most closely mimicked the response to vagal activation of the non-cholinergic, non-adrenergic inhibitory neurones. The results provide support for the involvement of a peptide (possibly VIP) rather than a purine in the vagally driven decrease in intracorpus pressure in the ferret.

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