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Am J Physiol. 1998 Jul;275(1 Pt 1):G1-7.

G protein-coupled receptors in gastrointestinal physiology. IV. Neural regulation of gastrointestinal smooth muscle.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, School of Medicine, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557, USA.


G protein-coupled receptors receive many of the neural, hormonal, and paracrine inputs to gastrointestinal (GI) smooth muscle cells. This article examines the major G protein-coupled receptors, G proteins, and effectors that mediate responses to enteric neuromuscular transmitters. Excitatory transmitters primarily couple through Gq/11 and Gi/Go proteins and elicit responses via formation of inositol trisphosphate and diacylglycerol and inhibition of adenylyl cyclase. Several inhibitory transmitters couple through Gs and activation of adenylyl cyclase. There are interesting examples, however, of inhibitory transmitters apparently using pathways regulated by Gq/11 to elicit responses by localized Ca2+ release and activation of Ca2+-dependent ion channels. G protein-coupled receptors may also be differentially expressed by smooth muscle cells and interstitial cells of Cajal, which may increase the diversity of responses and allow specialized innervation of GI muscle tissues.

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