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Am J Physiol. 1999 Feb;276(2 Pt 1):G373-7.

Role of nitric oxide in fasting gastric fundus tone and in 5-HT1 receptor-mediated relaxation of gastric fundus.

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  • 1Center for Gastroenterological Research, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Catholic University of Leuven, B-3000 Louvain, Belgium.


Fasting gastric fundus tone is maintained by continuous cholinergic input. 5-Hydroxytryptamine-1 (5-HT1) receptor activation decreases gastric fundus tone in humans. Whether this fundus-relaxing effect is mediated via inhibition of cholinergic input or via activation of a nitrergic pathway is unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of nitrergic inhibition on feline gastric fundus tone and on 5-HT1 receptor-mediated relaxation of the fundus. Administration of Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) alone caused a significant decrease of the mean baseline volume (P < 0.005), which was restored completely by addition of L-arginine. Sumatriptan caused a dose-dependent relaxation of the gastric fundus (P < 0.0005). This relaxation was inhibited by L-NAME (P < 0.02) and was restored by prior administration of L-arginine. Buspirone did not cause any change in mean baseline volume, whereas the sumatriptan-induced relaxation was not affected by prior administration of NAN-190. Our data indicate that fasting fundus tone relies not only on continuous cholinergic input but also on continuous nitrergic input, implying that fasting fundus tone is maintained by the balance of a cholinergic and nitrergic drive. Furthermore, fundus relaxation via 5-HT1 receptor activation is mediated through activation of a nitrergic pathway.

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