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J Clin Invest. 1974 Sep;54(3):529-35.

An inhibitory innervation at the gastroduodenal junction.


Transverse muscle strips, 2-mm wide, were cut serially from the gastroduodenal junction in opossums, cats, dogs, and man. Electrical field stimulation with trains of rectangular current pulses of 0.5 ms in all opossums, all cats, some dogs, and the one human specimen induced relaxation in strips from the thickened circular muscle proximal to the mucosal junction. In some opossums weak relaxations also occurred in the first few strips below the mucosal junction. All other strips contracted or showed no response. This relaxation in opossums was abolished by tetrodotoxin but was not affected by antagonists to adrenergic and cholinergic transmission, nor by tripelennamine, methysergide, pentagastrin, secretin, cerulein, or cholecystokinin. Optimal frequency for stimulus-relaxation was 12 Hz. Chronaxie was 0.85 ms. The junctional strips also showed greater resistances to stretch than those remote from the junction. With apparent species variations, the junctional muscle possesses a nonadrenergic inhibitory innervation which is either absent or unexpressed in adjacent muscle of stomach and duodenum. This suggests the existence of a distinctive inhibitory neural control mechanism for pyloric muscle.

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