Impaired gastric motor activity after abdominal surgery in rats

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2005 Apr;17(2):245-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2004.00602.x.


Postoperative ileus (POI) is a transient bowel dysmotility that occurs following abdominal surgery. Several mechanisms have been proposed such as neural reflex and inflammatory changes. We focused on gastric motility after abdominal surgery in rats. To investigate the time course of gastric motility after surgery, gastric motility was continuously recorded before, during and after surgery. After laparotomy, terminal ileum was manipulated for 10 min. Gastric motility was recorded by a strain gauge transducer implanted on the serosal surface of the stomach. To investigate whether peripheral sympathetic nerve is involved in the pathogenesis of POI, effects of guanethidine and celiac ganglionectomy were tested on the postoperative gastric motility. Although isoflurane anaesthesia reduced the gastric motility to 40%, the motility recovered immediately when isoflurane was withdrawn. Intestinal manipulation reduced the postoperative gastric motility for 3-24 h after surgery, compared with preoperative levels. Guanethidine administration and celiac ganglionectomy restored the impaired gastric motility. Feeding increased the gastric motility in each group. It is suggested that the pathogenesis of postoperative gastric ileus induced by intestinal manipulation involves viscero-sympathetic pathways. Intestinal manipulation causes impaired gastric motility via inhibitory sympathetic efferent pathway. Feeding may improve the postoperative gastric motility.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic Agents / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Eating
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / surgery
  • Ganglionectomy
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology*
  • Guanethidine / pharmacology
  • Ileus / etiology*
  • Ileus / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach / physiology


  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Guanethidine