[The effect of subtotal vagotomy of the plexus myentericus (Auerbach) on the function of the intramural nervous system. A quantitative histochemical examination in white laboratory mice]

Acta Anat (Basel). 1979;104(1):36-51.
[Article in German]


The effect of a subtotal vagotomy on the function of the intramural nervous system of different parts of the intestinal tract is studied by means of quantitative measurements of the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. By sham vagotomy it was possible to explore the effect of narcosis and laparotomy on the intramural nervous system of the intestine. Vagotomy is followed by a decrease in AChE activity of the ganglionic cells in all parts of the intestinal tract. A minimum of activity, about 50% of the normal concentration, is attained at the 16th postoperative day. After this time, a continual increase in AChE activity, along with a reactivation of the function of the ganglionic cells, can be observed. 90 days after vagotomy the ganglionic cells of the intramural nervous plexus show a normal enzyme activity. These results support the hypothesis that most of the cells of the myenteric plexus build up an autonomic nervous plexus, which is stimulated in an excitatory way by the vagus nerve and which will be inhibited by sympathetic stimulation.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Ganglia, Autonomic / cytology
  • Ganglia, Autonomic / enzymology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Intestines / enzymology
  • Intestines / innervation*
  • Mice
  • Myenteric Plexus / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vagotomy*


  • Acetylcholinesterase