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Am J Physiol. 1998 Sep;275(3 Pt 1):G498-505.

Differential 5-HT3 mediation of human gastrocolonic response and colonic peristaltic reflex.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


Colonic motor function is modulated by extended and local neural reflexes involving unknown mediators. To test the role of serotonin (5-HT3) pathways, increases in colonic tone during antral distension and duodenal lipid perfusion (gastrocolonic responses) and changes in orad and caudad colonic tone in response to local colonic distension (peristaltic reflex) were measured after double-blind granisetron (10 microg/kg) or placebo infusion in healthy human volunteers. Antral distension evoked increases in colonic tone, which were blunted by granisetron (P < 0.05) without effects on antral compliance. Intraduodenal lipid perfusion also evoked increased colonic tone, which was reduced by granisetron (P < 0.05). In contrast, orad colonic contractions and caudad relaxations and contractions during colonic distension were unaffected by granisetron. In conclusion, 5-HT3 receptor antagonism blunts both the mechano- and chemoreceptor components of the human gastrocolonic response without altering antral compliance. In contrast, 5-HT3 pathways play no role in the ascending or descending components of the colonic peristaltic reflex. These findings demonstrate different roles for 5-HT3 receptors in the control of colonic motor function by the proximal gastrointestinal tract and by local neural reflexes.

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