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J Physiol. 1988 Jul;401:417-35.

Some membrane properties of the circular muscle of chicken rectum and its non-adrenergic non-cholinergic innervation.

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Department of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Gifu University, Japan.


1. Membrane properties and innervation of the circular muscle of chicken rectum were investigated by recording intracellularly electrotonic potentials evoked by passing current, and excitatory and inhibitory junction potentials (EJPs and IJPs) evoked by electrical stimulation of the extrinsic or intrinsic nerves. 2. The membrane potential was -55 +/- 0.6 mV (n = 95). Action potentials of long duration (1.2-4.0 s) discharged spontaneously, or were generated when the membrane depolarization due to either electrotonic potential or EJP reached the threshold. The drug D600 blocked the generation of action potentials. 3. Electrotonic potentials spread fairly well in the longitudinal direction of the muscle fibres but not in the transverse direction. The longitudinal space constant was 1.7 +/- 0.2 mm (n = 10) and the membrane time constant was 205 +/- 21 ms (n = 10). 4. Field stimulation of intramural nerves evoked an EJP followed by a long-lasting IJP (3-12 s in total duration) in most cells, and an EJP alone or an IJP alone in a small number of cells. The EJP and IJP were preserved in the simultaneous presence of atropine and guanethidine, but abolished with tetrodotoxin. 5. Stimulation of Remak's nerve trunk or its branches produced EJPs which were atropine resistant and guanethidine resistant just like the EJP elicited by intramural nerve stimulation. The extrinsic nerve stimulation was ineffective in eliciting IJPs. 6. The EJP amplitude declined in a linear manner as the distance from the stimulating site of intramural nerves was increased. The decline was much greater along the transverse axis than the longitudinal axis of circular muscle fibres. 7. The reversal potential for the EJP was estimated by extrapolation to be about - 15.3 +/- 0.3 mV (n = 7). 8. Apamin did not inhibit the IJP. During the hyperpolarization of a single IJP or summed IJPs, electrotonic potentials remained unchanged or slightly decreased in amplitude.

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