Effect of buspirone, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, on esophageal motility in healthy volunteers

M. Di Stefano, A. Papathanasopoulos, K. Blondeau, R. Vos, V. Boecxstaens, R. Farré, N. Rommel, J. Tack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are limited data concerning the effects of 5-HT1A receptor activation on esophageal motility. Sumatriptan, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, was recently reported to enhance esophageal peristalsis after intravenous administration. Buspirone, an orally available 5-HT1A receptor agonist, was shown to modulate gastroduodenal motor function. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of buspirone on esophageal motility of healthy volunteers. On two separate visits, 20 healthy volunteers aged 21-29 years (nine women) underwent esophageal manometry before and 10, 30, and 60 minutes after the administration of buspirone 20-mg or placebo capsule, according to a double-blind crossover design. At each time point, we compared buspirone and placebo effects on: resting pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES); residual pressure and duration of LES relaxation; amplitude, duration, and onset velocity of esophageal body contractions, during 10 swallows of 5mL of water. Significant analysis of variance differences (P <0.05) are presented as mean ± standard deviation. Buspirone significantly increased mean distal esophageal wave amplitude (151 vs. 87mmHg, P <0.05) and duration (6.1 vs. 4.2 seconds, P <0.05). Similarly, buspirone significantly increased mean LES resting pressure (26 vs. 21mmHg, P <0.05) and mean residual LES pressure (7.9 vs. 2mmHg, P <0.05), whereas reduced mean LES relaxation duration (7.2 vs. 8.0 seconds, P <0.05) and mean distal onset velocity (7.6 vs. 14.7cm/second, P <0.05). Buspirone enhances esophageal peristalsis and LES function in healthy volunteers. Further study is warranted on the effects of buspirone on esophageal function and symptoms in patients with ineffective esophageal motility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-476
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor
  • Buspirone
  • Esophageal motility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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