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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2018 Oct;30(10):e13380. doi: 10.1111/nmo.13380. Epub 2018 May 24.

Vagus nerve stimulation promotes gastric emptying by increasing pyloric opening measured with magnetic resonance imaging.

Author information

1
School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
2
Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
3
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
4
Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
5
Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is an emerging electroceutical therapy for remedying gastric disorders that are poorly managed by pharmacological treatments and/or dietary changes. Such therapy seems promising as the vagovagal neurocircuitry modulates the enteric nervous system to influence gastric functions.

METHODS:

Here, the modulatory effects of left cervical VNS on gastric emptying in rats were quantified using a (i) feeding protocol in which the animal voluntarily consumed a postfast, gadolinium-labeled meal and (ii) a non-invasive imaging method to measure antral motility, pyloric activity and gastric emptying based on contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computer-assisted image processing pipelines.

KEY RESULTS:

Vagus nerve stimulation significantly accelerated gastric emptying (sham vs VNS: 29.1% ± 1.5% vs 40.7% ± 3.9% of meal emptied per 4 hours), caused a greater relaxation of the pyloric sphincter (sham vs VNS: 1.5 ± 0.1 vs 2.6 ± 0.4 mm2 cross-sectional area of lumen), and increased antral contraction amplitude (sham vs VNS: 23.3% ± 3.0% vs 32.5% ± 3.0% occlusion), peristaltic velocity (sham vs VNS: 0.50 ± 0.02 vs 0.67 ± 0.03 mm s-1 ), but not its contraction frequency (sham vs VNS: 6.1 ± 0.2 vs 6.4 ± 0.2 contractions per minute, P = .22). The degree to which VNS relaxed the pylorus was positively correlated with gastric emptying rate (r = .5887, P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES:

The MRI protocol employed in this study is expected to enable advanced preclinical studies to understand stomach pathophysiology and its therapeutics. Results from this study suggest an electroceutical treatment approach for gastric emptying disorders using cervical VNS to control the degree of pyloric sphincter relaxation.

KEYWORDS:

gastric emptying; magnetic resonance imaging; rat; vagus nerve stimulation

PMID:
29797377
PMCID:
PMC6160317
[Available on 2019-10-01]
DOI:
10.1111/nmo.13380

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