, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 1544-1551,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 13 Aug 2010

Distension-Induced Gastric Contraction is Attenuated in an Experimental Model of Gastric Restraint



Gastric distension has important implications for motility and satiety. The hypothesis of this study was that distension affects the amplitude and duration of gastric contraction and that these parameters are largely mediated by efferent vagus stimulation.


A novel isovolumic myograph was introduced to test these hypotheses. The isovolumic myograph isolates the stomach and records the pressure generated by the gastric contraction under isovolumic conditions. Accordingly, the phasic changes of gastric contractility can be documented. A group of 12 rats were used under in vivo conditions and isolated ex vivo conditions and with two different gastric restraints (small and large) to determine the effect of degree of restraint.


The comparison of the in vivo and ex vivo contractility provided information on the efferent vagus mediation of gastric contraction, i.e., the in vivo amplitude and duration reached maximum of 12.6 ± 2.7 mmHg and 19.8 ± 5.6 s in contrast to maximum of 5.7 ± 0.9 mmHg and 7.3 ± 1.3 s in ex vivo amplitude and duration, respectively. The comparison of gastric restraint and control groups highlights the role of distension on in vivo gastric contractility. The limitation of gastric distension by restraint drastically reduced the maximal amplitude to below 2.9 ± 0.2 mmHg.


The results show that distension-induced gastric contractility is regulated by both central nervous system and local mechanisms with the former being more substantial. Furthermore, the gastric restraint significantly attenuates gastric contractility (decreased amplitude and shortened duration of contraction) which is mediated by the efferent vagus activation. These findings have important implications for gastric motility and physiology and may improve our understanding of satiety.