Non-adrenergic non-cholinergic neuron stimulation in the cat lower esophageal sphincter

Nadejda Kortezova, Zlatka Mizhorkova, Elissaveta Milusheva, Gabor Varga, E. Sylvester Vizi, Maria Papasova

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Both electrical field stimulation and nicotine produced non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) relaxation of the circular muscle strips from the cat lower esophageal sphincter in the presence of 5 μM guanethidine and 5 μM scopolamine. Low-frequency stimulation (2 Hz, 0.2 ms duration, supramaximal current intensity, 20-s train) provoked a transient relaxation, while at high-frequency stimulation (20 Hz) a slow restoration to the resting tone was observed. Blockade of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis by 1 mM N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine decreased by 20% the amplitude of the 20 Hz-induced relaxation and changed the pattern of relaxation, making it similar to the sustained relaxation evoked by exogenously applied vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP). After chymotrypsin (4 U/ml), the pattern of the high-frequency-induced relaxation resembled that of the low-frequency-induced relaxation. Similarly, chymotrypsin changed the shape of nicotine-provoked relaxation, increasing the speed of restoration to the resting tone. We suggest that the fast relaxation elicited in cat lower esophageal sphincter by electrical field stimulation or nicotine is initiated by NO. The slow restoration to the resting tone in the case of high-frequency- or nicotine-induced relaxation seems to be due to the release of VIP or VIP-like peptides. The possibility of participation of another transmitter(s) involved in NANC relaxation should not be excluded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - May 23 1996



  • NANC (non-adrenergic non-cholinergic) neurotransmission
  • VIP (vasoactive intestinal peptide)
  • electrical field stimulation
  • lower esophageal sphincter
  • nicotine
  • nitric oxide (NO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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