Jejunal circular muscle motility is decreased in nematode-infected rat
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Jejunal circular muscle motility was studied in vitro in rats 8-10 days after inoculation with the inflammation-inducing nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. The passive properties of the muscle, i.e., the development of passive tension and the optimal amount of stretch for active contractions, were unchanged by infection. Infection decreased the development of active resting tension, spontaneous contractions, muscle contraction to muscarinic receptor activation, and direct electrical stimulation. Relaxation to beta-adrenergic stimulation was also decreased in tissues from infected animals. Response to cholinergic stimulation, spontaneous contractions, and active resting tension were completely dependent on extracellular calcium. The dominant response to electrical stimulation of intrinsic nerves was relaxation in control tissue and contraction in tissue from infected rats. In the presence of atropine, all tissues from control rats but only 33% of the tissues from infected rats relaxed, suggesting a marked difference in functional inhibitory innervation. The inflammation may have either decreased the circular muscle responsiveness to the inhibitory transmitter or decreased the release of this transmitter. Thus, a nematode infection produces decreased responsiveness of the intestinal circular muscle to both contracting and relaxing stimuli and causes a reduction in functional inhibitory innervation in this layer. These changes suggest mechanisms for the reduction of intestinal transit observed after some nematode infections.
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