Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 357, Issue 1–2, pp 35–49 | Cite as

Properties of mechanosensitive neurons within Auerbach's plexus of the small intestine of the cat

  • C. J. Mayer
  • J. D. Wood


Three different kinds of mechanosensitive neurons were detected by direct electrical recording from Auerbach's plexus. Neurons classified as fast-adapting mechanoreceptors discharged spikes at the onset of stimulation, and the discharge stopped during a sustained stimulus of constant intensity. Slowly-adapting mechanoreceptors maintained during sustained stimulation, a steady discharge at a frequency that was a direct function of the intensity of the stimulus. Tonic-type neurons responded to mechanical stimulation with a prolonged train of spikes which had a consistent pattern from preparation to preparation. Once the tonic-type cells were triggered, the discharge followed a characteristic time course that was unchanged by further increase or decrease in stimulus intensity. Tonic-type neurons are probably not first order sensory neurons, but they may be activated by input derived from primary mechanoreceptors. Frequency of discharge of slowly-adapting mechanoreceptors was increased by histamine. This appeared to be secondary to histamine-induced contractile activity of the musculature.

Key words

Neurophysiology Enteric Nervous System Mechanoreceptors Gastrointestinal Function 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. J. Mayer
    • 1
  • J. D. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Kansas Medical CenterKansas CityUSA

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