Intracellular microelectrodes were used to record spontaneous and evoked inhibitory junction potentials (IJPs) from the circular muscle layer of an in vitro preparation of whole mouse colon. Membrane potential recordings were made from cells of the mid to distal region of colon at 36 ± 1°C in a modified Krebs' solution that contained atropine (1 μM) and nifedipine (1-2 μM). Spontaneously occurring hyperpolarisations of irregular amplitude and frequency (range: up to 20 mV and 2 Hz) were recorded that were resistant to N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (NOLA, 100 μM), but were abolished by tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1.6 μM) or apamin (250 nM). These were considered to be spontaneous IJPs as a consequence of activity in inhibitory motor neurons. Single electrical stimuli (0.6 ms, 15 V), elicited a fast IJP, whose time course could be superimposed on spontaneous liPs of similar amplitude. The amplitude of evoked IJPs was not depressed by NOLA (100 μM). However, in NOLA (100 μM), further addition of apamin (250 nM) significantly depressed the amplitudes of the evoked IJPs by 44%. NOLA- and apamin-resistant evoked IJPs were abolished by TTX (1.6 μM). It is suggested, that in the circular muscle layer of mouse colon, NO does not mediate the fast hyperpolarisations associated with spontaneous or evoked IJPs. Apamin abolished spontaneous IJPs, but electrical stimuli evoked an IJP with apamin-sensitive and resistant components both of which were non-nitrergic in origin.
- Inhibitory junction potential
- Inhibitory motor neuron
- Myoelectric complex