Neurogenic and myogenic motor patterns of rabbit proximal, mid and distal colon

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    The rabbit colon consists of four distinct regions. The motility of each region is controlled by myogenic and neurogenic mechanisms. Associating these mechanisms with specific motor patterns throughout all regions of the colon has not previously been achieved. Three sections of the colon (the proximal, mid, and distal colon) were removed from euthanized rabbits. The proximal colon consists of a triply teniated region and a single tenia region. Spatio-temporal maps were constructed from video recordings of colonic wall diameter, with associated intraluminal pressure recorded from the aboral end. Hexamethonium (100 μM) and tetrodotoxin (TTX; 0.6 μM) were used to inhibit neural activity. Four distinct patterns of motility were detected: 1 myogenic and 3 neurogenic. The myogenic activity consisted of circular muscle (CM) contractions (ripples) that occurred throughout the colon and propagated in both antegrade (anal) and retrograde (oral) directions. The neural activity of the proximal colon consisted of slowly (0.1 mm/s) propagating colonic migrating motor complexes, which were abolished by hexamethonium. These complexes were observed in the region of the proximal colon with a single band of tenia. In the distal colon, tetrodotoxin-sensitive, thus neurally mediated, but hexamethonium-resistant, peristaltic (anal) and antiperistaltic (oral) contractions were identified. The distinct patterns of neurogenic and myogenic motor activity recorded from isolated rabbit colon are specific to each anatomically distinct region. The regional specificity motor pattern is likely to facilitate orderly transit of colonic content from semi-liquid to solid composition of feces.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)G83-G92
    Number of pages10
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012


    • Antiperistalsis
    • Colon
    • Non-nicotinic transmission
    • Peristalsis
    • Ripples


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