The American Journal of Digestive Diseases

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 317–325 | Cite as

Temporal relationship between electrical and mechanical activity of longitudinal and circular muscle during intestinal peristalsis

  • Alex Bortoff
  • Emile Ghalib


Mechanical activity was recorded in longitudinal and circular directions from isolated segments of intestine from guinea pigs, cats and rabbits. Records were obtained by a modified Trendelenburg method and compared to recordings from more localized areas of gut wall. The latter method revealed that longitudinal and circular contractions recorded from corresponding points of both muscle layers occur simultaneously, rather than sequentially, during peristalsis; hence, the muscle layers are not reciprocally innervated. Furthermore, peristaltic contractions were recorded from segments of intestine from which the mucosa and submucosa had been removed—ie, in the absence of Meissner's plexus. Evidence is also presented, based on simultaneous electrical and mechanical recordings, that peristaltic contractions are controlled primarily by myogenic slow-wave activity. Intestinal peristalsis is concluded to be primarily a myogenic phenomenon which does not differ qualitatively from what has been classically described as segmentation.


Public Health Localize Area Mechanical Activity Temporal Relationship Muscle Layer 
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Copyright information

© Harper & Row, Publishers 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Bortoff
    • 1
  • Emile Ghalib
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Upstate Medical CenterState University of New YorkSyracuse

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