Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1-deficient mice do not develop postoperative gastric ileus

Gastroenterology. 2003 Sep;125(3):654-9. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(03)01069-2.


Background & aims: Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling pathways play a key role in the stress response through the activation of CRF(1) and CRF(2) receptors. We investigated the CRF receptor subtypes involved in gastric postoperative ileus.

Methods: Adult male mice (C57BL/6, CRF(1)-deficient, and wild-type), fasted for 16-18 hours, were anesthetized for 10 minutes and had a midline celiotomy and cecal exteriorization and palpation for 30 or 60 seconds or no surgery (sham). Phenol red was given by gavage 100 minutes after anesthesia; 20 minutes later, gastric emptying and blood glucose level were measured.

Results: In C57BL/6 mice, cecal palpation for 30 or 60 seconds significantly reduced gastric emptying to 30.3% +/- 1.4% and 5.8% +/- 3.4%, respectively, compared with 58.5% +/- 4.4% in sham. The CRF(1) antagonist CP-154,526 (20 mg/kg subcutaneously) completely prevented the 30-second cecal palpation-induced delayed gastric emptying (53.0% +/- 7.9% vs. 28.0% +/- 4.0% in vehicle + surgery), whereas the CRF(2) antagonist astressin(2)-B injected subcutaneously had no effect. In CRF(1)-deficient mice, cecal palpation for 30 seconds did not delay gastric emptying (80.3% +/- 4.5% compared with 84.7% +/- 6.3% in sham); in wild-type mice, gastric emptying was decreased to 17.8% +/- 16.1% (P < 0.05 vs. sham 72.0% +/- 12.4%). Surgery increased glucose levels by 46% compared with sham in wild-type mice, while glycemia was not altered in CRF(1)-deficient mice. Basal emptying was similar in wild-type and CRF(1)-deficient mice and not influenced by CRF antagonists in C57BL/6 mice.

Conclusions: These data show that CRF(1) activation plays an important role in mediating the early phase of gastric ileus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cecum / surgery
  • Gastric Outlet Obstruction / prevention & control*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Palpation
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / physiology*


  • CRF receptor type 2
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • CRF receptor type 1