Vagal Osmosensitive Receptors Located in the Small Intestine. Role in Gastric Emptying

  • N. Mei
  • L. Garnier
  • J. Melone


Various kinds of receptors (mechanoreceptors, chemoreceptors, thermoreceptors) have been evidenced in the small intestine thanks to single recording techniques (1). We studied recently the intestinal osmosensitivity in anaesthetized cats using the microelectrode technique (2). We concluded that the vagal polymodal receptors were able to signal changes in intraluminal osmotic pressure. These endings are activated both by hypotonic (5–138mosmole) and hypertonic (550–1100mosmole) perfusions. Connected with unmyelinated fibres, they are located close to the epithelium as suggested by the short latency of their responses and by their sensitivity to mucosal stroking.


Small Intestine Gastric Emptying Short Latency Gastrointestinal Motility Proximal Jejunum 
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  1. 1.
    Mei, N. (1983). Sensory structures in the viscera. In: Ottoson, D. (ed). Progress in sensory physiology 4. pp. 1–42 (Springer-Verlag).Google Scholar
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    Garnier, L. and Mei, N. (1982). Do true osmoreceptors exist at intestinal level ? J.Physiol.(Lond.), 98, 327–397.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hunt, J.N. and Knox, M.T. (1968). Regulation of gastric emptying. In: Handbook of physiology, sect 6, vol 4. pp.1917–1935 (Washington DC)Google Scholar

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© MTP Press Limited 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Mei
  • L. Garnier
  • J. Melone

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