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J Auton Nerv Syst. 1993 Aug-Sep;44(2-3):179-87.

Tonic inhibition of small intestinal motility by nitric oxide.

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Department of Physiology and Surgery, University of Göteborg, Sweden.


The effects of blocking nitric oxide synthase with the arginine analog N omega-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA) were investigated in anaesthetized cats, vagotomized and pretreated with guanethidine and atropine. Spontaneous NANC jejunal motility (recorded as the volume changes of an intraluminal balloon) was markedly increased in a dose-dependent and stereospecific manner. The effect of L-NNA was partly reversed by L-arginine, the substrate for nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. Thus, this study presents evidence for a tonic inhibitory influence, via the release of NO, on small intestinal motility in vivo. Furthermore, relaxations upon the L-NNA-induced hypermotility could be elicited by vagal nerve stimulation, which may suggest the existence of another NANC inhibitory transmitter. Hexamethonium abolished such relaxations but did not affect the tone or phasic activity after L-NNA.

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