Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 40, Issue 11, pp 1043–1048

In vivo recording of colonic motility in conscious rats with deficiency of interstitial cells of Cajal, with special reference to the effects of nitric oxide on colonic motility

  • Atsushi Takahashi
  • Takeshi Tomomasa
  • Hiroaki Kaneko
  • Reiko Hatori
  • Takashi Ishige
  • Makoto Suzuki
  • Erito Mochiki
  • Akihiro Morikawa
  • Hiroyuki Kuwano



We recorded in vivo colonic motility in rats with a deficiency of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) (Ws/Ws rats) and in wild-type rats (+/+ rats), with special reference to the effects of nitric oxide (NO) on colonic motility in both types of rats, in order to ascertain the role of ICC in colonic motility, and the relationship between NO and ICC in regard to colonic motility.


Miniature strain-gauge force transducers were sutured on the surface of the ascending and sigmoid colon of Ws/Ws rats and +/+ rats as controls. After 1 week and a fasting period of 24 h, colonic motility in +/+ and Ws/Ws rats was recorded. We also studied the effect of NO on colonic motility in both types of rats, by means of the administration of N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (l-NAME) or l-arginine.


In +/+ rats, there were contractions with high amplitude and long duration in both the ascending and sigmoid colon. The number, amplitude, and duration of contractions in the ascending colon were 9.9/20 min, 6.1 g, and 22.7 s, respectively. These findings in the sigmoid colon were 5.2/20 min, 5.2 g, and 23.0 s, respectively. The number of contractions in the ascending and sigmoid colon in Ws/Ws rats (2.3 and 1.0/20 min) was significantly lower than that in +/+ rats (P < 0.05). The number of contractions in the ascending and sigmoid colon in +/+ rats (9.7 and 5.1/20 min before treatment) was significantly increased by l-NAME administration (28.7 and 13.9/40–60 min after treatment; P < 0.05), but that in Ws/Ws rats was not influenced. The number of contractions in the ascending and sigmoid colon in +/+ rats (10.2 and 5.2/20 min before treatment) was significantly decreased by l-arginine administration (3.6 and 2.1/40–60 min after treatment; P < 0.05), but that in Ws/Ws rats was not influenced.


ICC must be related to the occurrence of a normal number of colonic contractions. NO may be involved in the inhibitory regulation of colonic motility, and the effect of NO on the occurrence of contractions appears to be mediated by ICC.

Key words

colonic motility colonic contraction interstitial cells of Cajal nitric oxide 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atsushi Takahashi
    • 1
  • Takeshi Tomomasa
    • 2
  • Hiroaki Kaneko
    • 2
  • Reiko Hatori
    • 2
  • Takashi Ishige
    • 2
  • Makoto Suzuki
    • 1
  • Erito Mochiki
    • 1
  • Akihiro Morikawa
    • 2
  • Hiroyuki Kuwano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General Surgical Science (Surgery I)Gunma University, Graduate School of MedicineMaebashiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics and Developmental MedicineGunma University, Graduate School of MedicineGunmaJapan

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