TRH stimulation and l-glutamic acid inhibition of proximal gastric motor activity in the rat dorsal vagal complex

Helen E Raybould, L. J. Jakobsen, D. Novin, Y. Taché

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43 Scopus citations


The importance of the dorsal vagal complex (DVC) in the control of gastric motor activity has been previously established by electrical and chemical stimulation of this region. We have further evaluated excitatory and inhibitory influences on motor activity of the gastric corpus by microinjection of l-glutamic acid (GLU) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) into the DVC. GLU and TRH were ejected by pressure (20-30 psi) in 1-10 nl vol. from multibarreled micropipettes and intraluminal pressure and the gastric corpus was measured using a manometric catheter placed into the stomach through the pylorus of urethane-chloralose anesthetized rats. Gastric motor activity was monitored while micropipettes were advanced from the surface of the dorsomedial medulla to a depth of 1 mm in 100 μm increments. Microinjections of GLU (1-10 pmol) at depths of 200-600 μm below the surface of the brainstem caused a decrease in tonic intraluminal pressure and amplitude of phasic contactions of the gastric corpus. Injection of TRH (1-10 pmol) at depths of 200-800 μm increased both tonic intraluminal pressure and amplitude of phasic contractions. The responses to GLU (10 pmol) and TRH (10 pmol) were abolished by hexamethonium and vagotomy; atropine abolished the effect of TRH and attenuated that of GLU. It is concluded that GLU evokes only vagally mediated inhibitory effects on tonic and phasic gastric motor activity when microinjected into the DVC. In contrast, injection of TRH at the same loci causes only vagal cholinergic increases in motor activity. Subpopulations of neurons in the DVC may, therefore, be activated by specific neurotransmitters having opposite effects on gastric motor activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 28 1989


  • Dorsal vagal complex
  • Gastric corpus
  • l-Glutamic acid
  • Manometry
  • Microinjection
  • Rat
  • Thyrotropin-releasing hormone
  • Vagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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