Electrophysiological analysis of the convergence of peripheral inputs onto neurons of the coeliac ganglion in the guinea pig

J Auton Nerv Syst. Jan-Feb 1994;46(1-2):93-105. doi: 10.1016/0165-1838(94)90147-3.


The convergence of intestinofugal axons from different intestinal regions onto individual neurons in the coeliac ganglion of the guinea pig was investigated using intracellular recording methods in vitro. Peripheral nerve trunks from the distal ileum, the most proximal colon and the colon near the colonic flexure were electrically stimulated along with preganglionic fibres running in the splanchnic nerve. Fast cholinergic excitatory synaptic potentials (EPSPs) were seen in ganglion cells in response to stimulation of each nerve trunk. Roughly half of 78 neurons impaled received inputs from stimulation of peripheral nerves, and almost all of these received input from the proximal colon. Most cells responded to stimulation of more than one peripheral nerve indicating that coeliac neurons receive converging inputs from intestinofugal neurons located in more than one intestinal region. In a second series of experiments, segments of intestine were left attached to the ganglion and distended with saline to stimulate peripheral mechanosensory input to the coeliac ganglion. In each experiment, two segments were stimulated. A subgroup of ganglion cells exhibited spontaneous fast EPSPs and the frequency of these potentials was increased by distension of one or other of the attached intestinal segments. However, few neurons responded to distension of both of the attached intestinal segments suggesting that some of the intestinofugal inputs to the coeliac ganglion identified by electrical stimulation may be sensitive to sensory modalities other than distension. Hexamethonium (0.5 mM) applied to the intestine, and not to the coeliac ganglion, reduced the frequency of the spontaneous synaptic potentials seen in coeliac ganglion cells, but did not abolish the response to distension of the colon (n = 8). When the Ca2+ concentration of the solution bathing the proximal colon was reduced to block all synaptic transmission in the enteric plexuses the background synaptic input was further depressed, but again the response to distension was little changed (n = 4). This suggests that at least some of the neurons projecting from the colon to the coeliac ganglion are first order mechanosensory neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology
  • Female
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / cytology
  • Ganglia, Sympathetic / physiology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hexamethonium Compounds / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intestines / physiology
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / cytology
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiology*
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Synapses / drug effects


  • Hexamethonium Compounds