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Am J Physiol. 1988 Jan;254(1 Pt 1):G124-9.

Increased responsiveness of jejunal longitudinal muscle in Trichinella-infected rats.

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Intestinal Diseases Research Unit, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


We examined in vitro changes in contractility of jejunal longitudinal muscle strips in rats infected with the nematode parasite Trichinella spiralis. Length-passive tension relationships were unchanged. However, muscle from infected rats on days 5 and 6 postinfection (PI) generated maximal active tension induced by carbachol at significantly less stretch (39.9 +/- 1.0 and 34.3 +/- 6.3%, respectively) than control tissues (66.0 +/- 2.3%). In infected rats on day 5 PI, the maximum tension generated by carbachol (1.6 +/- 0.4 g/mm2) and by 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HTP) (2.6 +/- 0.1 g/mm2) was significantly greater than in control tissue (0.5 +/- 0.2 g/mm2). On removal of calcium from the medium, responses of muscle from control and infected rats were reduced in a proportionate manner. The increased responsiveness to carbachol and 5-HTP was maximal by day 5 PI and was associated with a decrease in the ED50 value for 5-HTP but not for carbachol. All changes were reversed by 23 days PI. These results indicate that T. spiralis infection in the rat is associated with alterations in jejunal longitudinal smooth muscle function.

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