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Journal Articles Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System Year : 1994

In vivo study of the role of muscarinic receptors in the parasympathetic control of rabbit colonic motility


The aim of the present study was to elucidate the role of the non-M1 muscarinic receptors, in the extrinsic and intrinsic nerve control of in vivo colonic motility. Experiments were performed on the proximal colon of anaesthetized rabbits. In this species, the parasympathetic innervation of the proximal colon originates from the vagus nerves. The action of methoctramine and 4-diphenyl-acetoxy-N-methylpiperidine methobromide (4-DAMP) was studied on excitatory junction potentials (EJPs), and on inhibitory junction potentials (IJPs) elicited in smooth muscle cells by stimulating parasympathetic efferents. The effects of the same drugs on spontaneous spiking activity were also investigated. The EJPs either decreased or disappeared after intra-arterial (i.a.) administration of 4-DAMP (45 pg to 450 ng). In the presence of 4-DAMP, further intravenous (i.v.) administration of pirenzepine (0.1 had facilitatory effects on the inhibitory pathway, i.e., after abolition of the EJPs, vagal stimulation elicited IJPs. With the highest dose of 4-DAMP, vagal stimulation immediately elicited IJPs the amplitude of which still increased after pirenzepine. In the presence of 4-DAMP, the spontaneous spike discharge was not noticeably altered. Methoctramine (0.37 to 75 micrograms, i.a. or 50 micrograms to 0.2, i.v.) increased the amplitude of the EJPs, whereas it decreased that of the IJPs. In addition, at the same doses, it either initiated or increased spike discharges that were not altered by pirenzepine up to 0.2, i.v. The so-called rebound excitation occurring after IJPs was not affected by methoctramine. No change in the EJP or IJP amplitude was observed with gallamine at sufficiently high doses to paralyse striated muscles (up to 3 It is concluded that the parasympathetic excitatory pathway to smooth muscle is blocked by 4-DAMP, whereas it is facilitated by methoctramine. 4-DAMP has no effect on the inhibitory pathway which is strongly depressed by methoctramine; however, the fact that these two drugs have opposite effects indicates that 4-DAMP and methoctramine may act on different muscarinic receptor subtypes. In addition, the facilitatory effects of pirenzepine on IJPs observed in animals pre-treated with 4-DAMP, indicates that the latter drug may act on non-M1 and non-M2 (presumably M3) muscarinic receptors. Methoctramine acts on non-M1 and non-M3 (presumably M2) receptors. The spike discharge induced by methoctramine is presumably due to an increased release of acetylcholine, and possibly also of a non-cholinergic transmitter which has excitatory effects on smooth muscle, the identification of which requires further investigations. The inhibitory effects of methoctramine on IJPs indicate that non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) neurones which are inhibitory of smooth muscle are controlled by inhibitory intramural neurones, the activity of which is expressed through a muscarinic mechanism involving non-M1 and non-M3, presumably M 2 receptors

Dates and versions

hal-02873998 , version 1 (18-06-2020)



France Blanquet, Anne Abysique, Jean Gonella. In vivo study of the role of muscarinic receptors in the parasympathetic control of rabbit colonic motility. Journal of the Autonomic Nervous System, 1994, 46 (3), pp.217-227. ⟨10.1016/0165-1838(94)90039-6⟩. ⟨hal-02873998⟩


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