Neurogastroenterology and Motility vol:20 issue:10 pages:1094-1102
Endogenous opioids have been implicated not only in the process of feeding but also in the control of gastric sensitivity and gastric motor responses, and impairment of antinociceptive opioid pathways has been hypothesized to contribute to the pathogenesis of functional dyspepsia. Our aim was to study the effect of suppression of endogenous opioid action by naloxone on gastric sensorimotor function in healthy volunteers. During intravenous administration of saline or naloxone (0.4 mg intravenous bolus followed by continuous infusion 20 mu g kg(-1) h(-1)), sensitivity to gastric distension, gastric accommodation and fundic phasic contractility were evaluated by barostat in 15 subjects. Nutrient tolerance and meal-related symptoms were assessed using a satiety drinking test (n = 13), and solid and liquid gastric emptying were evaluated by breath test (n = 14). Naloxone did not influence gastric compliance and sensitivity. No effect on preprandial gastric tone was found but meal-induced accommodation was significantly inhibited by naloxone (P = 0.031). Subjects receiving naloxone demonstrated a higher motility index before (20.8 +/- 2.4 vs 28.0 +/- 1.9 mL s(-1), P = 0.007) and after (15.2 +/- 2.0 vs 22.7 +/- 1.5 mL s(-1), P = 0.0006) the meal. Naloxone significantly decreased the amount of food ingested at maximum satiety (715.4 +/- 77.7 vs 617.3 +/- 61.3 mL, P = 0.03). No effect of naloxone on gastric emptying was observed and intensity of postprandial symptoms was unchanged. These observations suggest that endogenous opioids are involved in the control of gastric accommodation and phasic contractility but not in the control of sensitivity to gastric distension or gastric emptying in healthy volunteers.