Vagal and splanchnic sensory pathways mediate inhibition of gastric motility induced by duodenal distension

H. H. Holzer, Helen E Raybould

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Afferent pathways mediating gastric corpus relaxation after duodenal distension were studied in urethan-anesthetized rats in which the sensory neurotoxin capsaicin (1%) or its vehicle was applied directly to the cervical vagus nerve trunks or the celiac-superior mesenteric ganglia 10-20 days before experiments. Distension (0.05-0.5 ml) of a closed loop of proximal duodenum decreased gastric intraluminal pressure. Perineural capsaicin treatment to the vagus nerves decreased by 73 and 80% the response to low volumes of distension (0.05 and 0.1 ml). Perineural capsaicin treatment of the celiac-superior mesenteric ganglia significantly attenuated by 46-88% the response to all volumes of distension. Bilateral cervical vagotomy or ganglionectomy reduced the response to all volumes of duodenal distension and, in combination, abolished the response. It is concluded that the decrease in gastric corpus motility after duodenal distension is dependent on the extrinsic innervation to the upper gastrointestinal tract and is mediated by both vagal and spinal capsaicin-sensitive afferents. Capsaicin-sensitive vagal afferents mediate responses to low volumes of distension that may be physiological. Capsaicin-sensitive spinal afferents mediate the gastric response to higher volumes of distension and may be involved in mediating visceral and somatic responses to pathophysiological intestinal obstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4 25-4
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • capsaicin
  • celiac ganglion
  • intragastric pressure
  • visceral afferents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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