Digestive diseases and sciences vol:34 issue:8 pages:1180-4
The effect of intestinal bacteria on the interdigestive myoelectric complex (IDMEC) was studied by recordings of the electrical activity of the proximal and distal small bowel in fasting germ-free (n = 6), gnotobiotic (n = 7), and conventional (n = 6) rats in vivo. Germ-free and gnotobiotic rats were operated and studied in germ-free or gnotobiotic conditions. The IDMEC period (mean +/- SD) in the proximal and distal small bowel was significantly longer in germ-free rats (20 +/- 2 min and 102 +/- 14 min) as compared to conventional rats (13 +/- 1 min and 58 +/- 5 min). Association of germ-free rats with a limited flora (gnotobiotic rats) decreased the IDMEC period significantly (15 +/- 1.5 min and 75 +/- 14 min). The migration velocity of the IDMEC was inversely related to the IDMEC period. These observations confirm previous data suggesting that the interdigestive motor complex has a role in the homeostasis of the bacterial content of the small bowel.