Background: Previous studies have suggested involvement of 5HT(1) receptors in the control of gastric tone.
Aim: To study the effect of buspirone, a 5HT(1A) agonist, on gastric sensorimotor function in healthy volunteers.
Methods: Ten healthy volunteers (six males and four females, ages 20-29 years) participated in a barostat study evaluating the influence of single oral doses of buspirone (5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mg) on tone and sensitivity of the proximal stomach. In addition, the effect of placebo or the three lowest doses of buspirone on gastric emptying was assessed using a solid and liquid gastric emptying breath test.
Results: Compared to preadministration volumes, buspirone increased proximal stomach volumes in a dose-dependent manner, with significant fundic relaxation after 30 and 40 mg doses (intra-balloon volume increases of respectively 258 +/- 80 mL and 273 +/- 49 mL, P < or = 0.05). Pressure thresholds during gastric distention were not altered, but corresponding intraballoon volumes were significantly increased after 30 and 40 mg doses (respective discomfort volumes 596 +/- 73 vs. 791 +/- 87 mL and 630 +/- 73 vs.741 +/- 60 mL, both P < 0.05). Buspirone significantly slowed solid and liquid gastric emptying at the 20-mg dose.
Conclusion: Buspirone dose-dependently relaxes the proximal stomach in the fasting state and decreases the gastric emptying rate in healthy volunteers.