Noradrenaline (NA) and somatostatin (SOM) stimulate intestinal water and ion absorption and are found in mucosal nerve fibres and nerve terminals in submucous ganglia of the guinea-pig small intestine. As the main projection of submucous neurons is to the mucosa, NA and SOM might alter mucosal transport either by a direct effect on the epithelium or indirectly, by affecting submucous neurons. In this study these two possible sites of action of NA and SOM have been investigated in mucosa-submucosa preparations of guinea-pig ileum. In addition, the actions of NA and SOM on the secretory responses caused by stimulation of different populations of submucous neurons have been studied. The stimulants of secretion used were a nicotinic agonist, 1,1-dimethyl-4-phenylpiperazinium (DMPP, 10-5 M), 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, 10-7 M) and electrical field stimulation (EFS), which activate cholinergic, noncholinergic and mixed populations of submucous secretomotor neurons, respectively. Segments of intestine were dissected free of external muscle and myenteric plexus and mounted in Ussing chambers. Short-circuit current (Isc) was measured as an indication of net active ion transport across the tissue. NA (≥10-8 M) and SOM (>10-10 M) each caused a decrease in Isc, indicating a net increase in ion absorption. The NA response was abolished and the magnitude of the SOM response was reduced to 20% by tetrodotoxin (10-7 M). DMPP, 5-HT and EFS each stimulated nerves that increased Isc and each of these responses was significantly diminished by NA and SOM; for both NA and SOM the decrease in the DMPP response was significantly greater than the decrease observed in the response to carbachol (10-6 M). Phentolamine (10-6 M) abolished all of the effects of NA but caused no change in the SOM effects. These studies have shown that NA and SOM cause similar changes in net ion transport, that their actions are primarily on submucous secretomotor neurons and that NA and SOM can diminish the responses to stimulation of both cholinergic and noncholinergic submucous neurons. In this tissue it is also known that SOM coexists with NA in noradrenergic nerve terminals in the submucosa. However, when applied together, NA and SOM caused no greater decrement in the carbachol and 5-HT responses than would be predicted by adding the separate effects of NA and SOM. Hence there was no obvious interaction between NA and SOM effects on mucosal transport.
- Enteric neurons
- Mucosal transport