The effects of oxytocin on the pattern of electrical propagation in the isolated pregnant uterus of the rat

Wim J.E.P. Lammers, Betty Stephen, Romana Hamid, Dean W.G. Harron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In the isolated pregnant myometrium of the rat, the pattern of propagation was investigated by recording simultaneously from 240 different extracellular sites while the contraction of the tissue was recorded isometrically. Analysis of all recorded electrograms allowed the two- dimensional spread of activity in the myometrium to be reconstructed. From these activation maps, the conduction velocities were measured in the longitudinal, oblique and transversal directions. At low concentrations (10- 9 and 5x10-9 M), oxytocin significantly increased the frequency and duration of electrical bursts and the average spike intervals, without affecting the homogeneity of action potential propagation, concomitant with a significant increase in the amplitude of contractions. At high concentrations (10-8 and 5x10-8 M), oxytocin induced conduction blocks and the size of inexcitable areas was increased, concomitantly with an increase in muscle contractures. In contrast, the conduction velocities in the longitudinal, oblique and circular directions were not influenced by oxytocin at any concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Conduction velocity
  • Electrical mapping
  • Electrical propagation
  • Electro- mechanical dissociation
  • Homogeneity in conduction
  • Oxytocin
  • Pregnant
  • Smooth muscle
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)


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