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Gut. 1987 Aug;28(8):955-9.

Involvement of alpha-1 and alpha-2 adrenoceptors in the postlaparotomy intestinal motor disturbances in the rat.

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Department of Pharmacology, INRA, Toulouse, France.


The effects of phentolamine, yohimbine and prazosin on laparotomy induced intestinal motor disturbances were studied in anaesthetised fasted rats previously equipped with electrodes, chronically implanted on the duodenum and jejunum. During continuous recording of interdigestive myoelectric activity, laparotomy under thiopental anaesthesia (Nesdonal 40 mg/kg ip) induced a primary phase of total inhibition of spiking activity lasting 26.1 +/- 1.3 min (mean +/- SE) followed by a period of disorganised activity, the first propagated migrating myoelectric complex (MMC) occurring 71.4 +/- 7.9 min after laparotomy. Phentolamine (3 mg/kg), or yohimbine (1 mg/kg) given im before laparotomy decreased by 48 and 49%, respectively, the duration of postsurgical inhibition, with a normal MMC pattern occurring immediately after. In contrast, there was only a shortening of the postlaparotomy initial inhibition of spiking activity after im prazosin (100 micrograms/kg), with a late (50-60 min) recovery of the MMC pattern. These results suggest that the initial inhibition of intestinal motility induced by laparotomy may involve alpha-1 and alpha-2 adrenoceptors, while the disruption of the MMC pattern is mainly caused by the activation of alpha-2 receptors.

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