Letter | Published:

An Inhibitory Component of the Response to Distension of Rat Ileum

Naturevolume 207pages641642 (1965) | Download Citation



THERE is good evidence that the longitudinal smooth muscle of small and large intestine of rat, mouse, guinea-pig and rabbit is supplied with inhibitory nerves arising from intrinsic neurones which are probably components of the myenteric plexus1,2. These inhibitory nerves can be excited by transmural stimulation of segments of intestine2, by ‘field’ stimulation of strips of intestinal muscle1, or by ganglion stimulants such as dimethyl-4-phenyl-piperazinium iodide (DMPP)1,2. The relaxation of the longitudinal muscle mediated by these nerves can always be observed in the presence of atropine, 1 µg/ml., which blocks any muscarinic excitatory effects due to stimulation of cholinergic nerve fibres within the wall of the intestine. Since the inhibitory response is unaffected by concentrations of guanethidine and bretylium which block the relaxation in response to perivascular nerve stimulation, it seems likely that the intrinsic inhibitory system is distinct from the sympathetic system. The conditions which cause reflex activation of the intrinsic inhibitory neurones, in vivo, remain to be clarified.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Burnstock, G., Campbell, G., and Rand, M., J. Physiol., (in the press).

  2. 2

    Holman, M. E., and Hughes, J. R., Austral. J. Exp. Biol. and Med. Sci., 43, 277 (1965).

  3. 3

    Trendelenberg, P., Arch. Exp. Path. Pharmak., 215, 460 (1917).

  4. 4

    Kosterlitz, H. W., and Watt, A. J., J. Physiol., 127, 40P (1963).

  5. 5

    Schaumann, W., Brit. J. Pharmacol., 10, 456 (1955).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Physiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia



  1. Search for MOLLIE E. HOLMAN in:

  2. Search for JANICE R. HUGHES in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.