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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2010 Nov;299(5):G1198-203. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00523.2009. Epub 2010 Aug 26.

Regional differences of the effects of acetylcholine in the human gastric circular muscle.

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Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The motor functions of the stomach have traditionally been regarded to have regional differences. However, to date there have been only a few data investigating whether such regional differences in motor function exist in the human stomach. The aims of the present study were to examine the spontaneous activity and responses to acetylcholine in the anatomically defined regions of human stomach. Human gastric circular muscle tissues from fundus, corpus, and antrum were obtained from 25 patients (14 men, 11 women with a mean age of 55.2 yr; 36-74 yr) undergoing gastrectomy for gastric cancers. Isometric force measurements were performed by using muscle strips from the different regions of the human stomach under basal conditions and in response to the exogenous application of acetylcholine. Spontaneous phasic contractions were observed in all human gastric smooth muscles. However, the responses to acetylcholine displayed regional differences. In the gastric antrum, there was a dose-dependent increase in the peak contraction, contractile frequency, and amplitude of contraction after acetylcholine exposure (up to 1 μM). However, there was no significant change in the basal tone. In the corpus and fundus, acetylcholine induced a dose-dependent increase in the peak contraction and basal tone. However, there was no significant change in the contractile frequency or amplitude of contraction. In conclusion, the response of human gastric circular muscle to acetylcholine displayed regional differences between the antrum and the corpus and fundus. This finding suggested the presence of distinct functional regions in human stomach.

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