Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 86 (1), 73-78 (2001)

In Vivo Assessment of the Regulatory Mechanism of Cholinergic Neuronal Activity Associated With Motility in Dog Small Intestine

Akira Furuichi1, Noriaki Makimoto1, Masayuki Ogishima2, Kanichirou Nakao1, Mikio Tsukamoto1, Takashi Kanematsu1 and Kohtaro Taniyama2,*

Departments of 1Surgery II and 2Pharmacology, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Nagasaki 852-8523, Japan

*Corresponding author. FAX: +81-95-849-7048, E-mail:

Abstract: Intestinal motor activity associated with acetylcholine (ACh) release was assessed in the small intestine of anesthetized dogs by simultaneous measurement of motor activity and local ACh concentrations within the intestinal wall with in vivo microdialysis. Basal concentration of ACh measured in the dialysate was 1.12 ± 0.08 pmol/15 min (n = 10), a value that remained constant until 3 h after perfusion. Intraarterial infusion of tetrodotoxin reduced dialysate ACh concentration, while the motor activity accelerated at the early phase after infusion of tetrodotoxin and then decreased, thereby suggesting that the motor activity is regulated by not only excitatory cholinergic neurons, but also inhibitory neurons. Intraarterial infusion of atropine increased dialysate ACh concentration but reduced motor activity, thereby indicating that the cholinergic neurons are tonically active and the muscarinic autoreceptors operate to inhibit the ACh release. Intraarterial infusion of norepinephrine reduced, but yohimbine increased both motor activity and dialysate ACh concentration, thereby indicating that the adrenergic neurons regulate the motor activity due to control of cholinergic neuronal activity. This in vivo microdialysis method demonstrated in the whole body of animals that the activity of cholinergic neurons was physiologically regulated by itself and adrenergic neurons.

Keywords: In vivo microdialysis, Acetylcholine release, Tetrodotoxin, Atropine, Norepinephrine
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