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Evaluation of nitric oxide as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the equine ventral colon

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  • 1 Comparative Gastroenterology Laboratory, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 2 Department of Large Animal Medicine & Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 3 Comparative Gastroenterology Laboratory, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Comparative Gastroenterology Laboratory, Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the role of nitric oxide and an apamin-sensitive nonadrenergic noncholingeric inhibitory transmitter on contractility of the ventral colon of horses.

Sample population—Strips of the circular and longitudinal muscle layers and taenia of the ventral colon from 14 horses.

Procedure—Muscle strips were suspended in tissue baths and attached to force transducers. Contractile activity of circular, longitudinal, and taenia muscle strips in response to electrical field stimulation was measured after addition of apamin and a nitric oxide inhibitor, N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME).

Results—Electrical field stimulation reduced contractile activity in the circular muscle layer and taenia but not the longitudinal muscle layer. Addition of L-NAME significantly reduced inhibitory contractile activity at all frequencies for the circular muscle layer, whereas a significant effect was evident for the taenia only at the highest frequency. The combination of L-NAME and apamin resulted in a significant reduction in inhibition of the taenia at all frequencies but for circular muscle only at lower frequencies.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Nitric oxide and an apamin-sensitive neurotransmitter appear to mediate a component of inhibitory transmission in the circular muscle and taenia, but not the longitudinal muscle layer, of the equine ventral colon. Nitric oxide has a role in regulating contractile activity of the equine ventral colon, and nitric oxide synthase inhibitors may be useful in horses with ileus of the large colon. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:64–68)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the role of nitric oxide and an apamin-sensitive nonadrenergic noncholingeric inhibitory transmitter on contractility of the ventral colon of horses.

Sample population—Strips of the circular and longitudinal muscle layers and taenia of the ventral colon from 14 horses.

Procedure—Muscle strips were suspended in tissue baths and attached to force transducers. Contractile activity of circular, longitudinal, and taenia muscle strips in response to electrical field stimulation was measured after addition of apamin and a nitric oxide inhibitor, N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME).

Results—Electrical field stimulation reduced contractile activity in the circular muscle layer and taenia but not the longitudinal muscle layer. Addition of L-NAME significantly reduced inhibitory contractile activity at all frequencies for the circular muscle layer, whereas a significant effect was evident for the taenia only at the highest frequency. The combination of L-NAME and apamin resulted in a significant reduction in inhibition of the taenia at all frequencies but for circular muscle only at lower frequencies.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Nitric oxide and an apamin-sensitive neurotransmitter appear to mediate a component of inhibitory transmission in the circular muscle and taenia, but not the longitudinal muscle layer, of the equine ventral colon. Nitric oxide has a role in regulating contractile activity of the equine ventral colon, and nitric oxide synthase inhibitors may be useful in horses with ileus of the large colon. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:64–68)