Spatiotemporal electrical and motility mapping of distension-induced propagating oscillations in the murine small intestine

T. C. Seerden, W. J.E.P. Lammers, B. Y. De Winter, J. G. De Man, P. A. Pelckmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Since the development of knockout animals, the mouse has become an important model to study gastrointestinal motility. However, little information is available on the electrical and contractile activities induced by distension in the murine small intestine. Spatiotemporal electrical mapping and mechanical recordings were made from isolated intestinal segments from different regions of the murine small intestine during distension. The electrical activity was recorded with 16 extracellular electrodes while motility was assessed simultaneously by tracking the border movements with a digital camera. Distension induced propagating oscillatory contractions in isolated intestinal segments. These propagating contractions were dictated by the underlying propagating slow wave with superimposed spikes. The frequencies, velocities, and direction of the propagating oscillations strongly correlated with the frequencies (r = 0.86), velocities (r = 0.84), and direction (r = 1) of the electrical slow waves. Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester decreased the maximal diameter of the segment and reduced the peak contraction amplitude of the propagating oscillatory contractions, whereas atropine and verapamil blocked the propagating oscillations. Tetrodotoxin had little effect on the maximal diameter and peak contraction amplitude. In conclusion, distension in the murine small intestine does not initiate peristaltic reflexes but induces a propagating oscillatory motor pattern that is determined by propagating slow waves with superimposed spikes. These spikes are cholinergic and calcium dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1043-G1051
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 52-6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Enteric nervous system
  • Mice
  • Peristalsis
  • Slow wave
  • Small intestine
  • Spike

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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