Colonic migrating motor complexes (CMMCs) in the isolated mouse colon

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 1997 Jun;9(2):99-107. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2982.1997.d01-25.x.


Spontaneous contractions were recorded from the circular muscle layer at three sites along the isolated mouse colon. The interval between contractions was approximately 4.5 min. The mean duration of the contractions ranged from 26 sec in the distal colon to 45 sec in the proximal colon. Contractions migrating more than half the length of the colon were termed colonic migrating motor complexes (CMMCs). Over 90% of tissues demonstrated migration predominantly in an aboral direction. Hyoscine (10(-6) M) decreased the amplitude of the CMMCs by at least 40% but had no significant effect on the interval or duration of the CMMCs. Nifedipine (10(-6) M) significantly decreased the amplitude of the CMMCs by 95% but did not alter the duration or the interval between the CMMCs. Hexamethonium (5 x 10(-4) M) and tetrodotoxin (TTX; 2 x 10(-6) M) abolished all CMMC activity. TTX increased the resting tone of the preparations. Nitro-L-arginine (10(-4) M) increased the resting tone of the preparations and significantly decreased the interval between the CMMCs by approximately 80% but had no significant effect on the duration of the CMMCs. The results suggest CMMCs migrate predominantly in an aboral direction and are neurogenic in origin. Nitric oxide may be involved in maintaining inhibition of the muscle between CMMCs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / physiology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Hexamethonium / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mice
  • Muscle Contraction / drug effects
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Myoelectric Complex, Migrating / drug effects
  • Myoelectric Complex, Migrating / physiology*
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Nifedipine / pharmacology*
  • Nitric Oxide / physiology
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Nitroarginine / pharmacology
  • Scopolamine / pharmacology
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Nitroarginine
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Hexamethonium
  • Tetrodotoxin
  • Scopolamine
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Nifedipine