Neurogastroenterology and motility vol:16 issue:1 pages:13-21
Recent combined manometric-barostat studies demonstrated that the oesophageal body exhibits both peristaltic contractions and tone. This study further characterized the neural modulation of tone in the feline oesophageal body. Simultaneous oesophageal barostat and manometry were performed in 20 adult cats under ketamine sedation. Oesophageal tone and peristalsis were assessed in the distal smooth muscle oesophagus. Cholinergic modulation was studied using neostigmine, erythromycin, atropine and vagotomy. Nitrergic regulation was assessed using sildenafil to increase cellular cyclic guanosine monophosphate and the nitric oxide synthase blocker Nomega-nitro-l-arginine (l-NNA). The presence of a tonic contractile activity in the distal oesophageal body was confirmed. Peristaltic contractions proceeded along the oesophageal body over the background tonic contraction. Neostigmine and erythromycin enhanced (20-30%) whereas bilateral vagotomy and atropine strongly decreased oesophageal tone (50-60%). However, l-NNA increased (40%) and sildenafil decreased oesophageal tone (30%). Therefore, tonic contractile activity in the oesophageal body is mainly caused by a continuous cholinergic excitatory input. A nitric oxide inhibitory mechanism may have a complementary role in the regulation of oesophageal tone.