American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology vol:277 issue:1 pages:G61-G68
To test the hypothesis that the changes in intestinal contractility, which accompany inflammation of the gut, are agonist specific, we compared the response of inflamed strips to substance P (SP), motilin, ACh, and K+ as a function of time. In parallel experiments, changes in the general mechanical properties (passive tension, optimal stretch) of the colitic tissue were evaluated. Colitis was induced by trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid, and rabbits were killed after 1, 2, 3, 5, or 8 days. Passive tension was increased starting from day 2 until day 8, and maximal active tension (T-max) was generated at less stretch from day 5. A 50% decrease in T-max was observed for ACh and K+ between days 2 and 3 and for motilin and SP between days 3 and 5. For all compounds, T-max returned to normal after 8 days. The pEC(50) value (negative logarithm of the concentration that induces 50% of the maximal contractile activity) for ACh was increased from day 3 until day 8 and for SP at day 3, whereas for motilin it was decreased at day 1. The changes in passive tension and optimal stretch indicate generalized structural alterations of smooth muscle tissue. However, the different time profiles of the changes in active tension and contractile potency for different contractile agents suggest that inflammation specifically affects receptor-mediated mechanisms.