Extrinsic and intrinsic neural control of pyloric sphincter pressure in the dog

J Physiol. 1988 Jul:401:17-38. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1988.sp017149.


1. In chloralose-urethane-anaesthetized dogs a manometric assembly was inserted via a gastrostomy to monitor pyloric pressure with a sleeve sensor. Antral and duodenal contractions were monitored with both manometric side holes and serosal strain gauges. 2. Subserosal silver wire electrodes were placed in the antrum 5 cm orad and the duodenum 3 cm aborad to the pylorus to facilitate field stimulation of intramural nerves. 3. The pylorus exerted spontaneous tone (10.8 +/- 4.8 mmHg) with phasic contractions occurring at a rate varying from 1-5 min-1 and, at times, with a superimposed higher frequency up to 15 min-1. Atropine (30 micrograms kg-1 I.V. and 10 micrograms I.A.) reduced and tetrodotoxin (50-100 micrograms I.A.) enhanced the phasic activity significantly. 4. Bilateral cervical vagal section had no consistent influence on pyloric motility. 5. Stimulation of the distal ends of the cervical vagal nerves at low frequencies (0.2-0.5 Hz, 1-3 ms, 20 V) induced phasic pyloric contractions, which were abolished by atropine or hexamethonium (10 mg kg-1 I.V. and 1 mg I.A.). Higher frequencies (greater than 0.7 Hz) of stimulation inhibited both phasic and tonic contractions and this inhibition was unaffected by atropine, hexamethonium, phentolamine (1.5 mg kg-1 I.V. and 100 micrograms I.A.) or propranolol (1 mg kg-1 I.V. and 100 micrograms I.A.). All neural responses were blocked by tetrodotoxin (50-100 micrograms I.A.). 6. Duodenal field stimulation (0.2-5 Hz, 0.5 ms, 40 V) induced strong phasic and tonic contractions in the pylorus. This excitation was blocked by atropine, hexamethonium, tetrodotoxin (50-100 micrograms I.A.) or duodenal transection orad to the stimulating electrodes. 7. Antral field stimulation (0.5-1 Hz, 0.5 ms, 40 V) completely abolished phasic activity in the pylorus and reduced tonic activity, regardless of whether the contractile activity was spontaneous or induced by neural stimulation. This inhibitory action was unaffected by atropine, hexamethonium or propranolol but was blocked by tetrodotoxin and antral transection aborad to the stimulating electrodes. Phentolamine attenuated the inhibitory effect of antral field stimulation on pyloric motility. 8. It is concluded that the distal canine pylorus exhibits myogenic tone and phasic activity which is modulated by extrinsic and intrinsic nerve pathways. Vagal nerves contain fibres, activated by different stimulus parameters which can either excite or inhibit pyloric activity. Activation of antral nerves inhibits pyloric activity, with both non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic and phentolamine-sensitive pathways contributing to this inhibitory response.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Duodenum / physiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Hexamethonium
  • Hexamethonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Pressure
  • Pyloric Antrum / physiology
  • Pylorus / physiology*
  • Sympatholytics / pharmacology
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology


  • Hexamethonium Compounds
  • Sympatholytics
  • Hexamethonium
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Atropine