Mechanoreceptors of the Proximal Stomach: Role in Triggering Transient Lower Esophageal Sphincter Relaxation

Roberto Penagini, Stefania Carmagnola, Paolo Cantù, Mariangela Allocca, Paolo A. Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & Aims: The role of fundic tension and stretch mechanoreceptors in triggering transient lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation is still unknown. This information would be useful for the development of effective pharmacologic strategies. To elucidate this topic, gastric contractile activity was modified during isovolumetric gastric distention at 2 different volumes. Methods: LES (Dentsleeve) and gastric (barostat) motility were recorded in 21 healthy subjects during studies comprising two 30-minute isovolumetric gastric distentions (placebo and glucagon or erythromycin). Glucagon (bolus of 4.8 μg/kg plus infusion of 9.6 μg · kg-1 · h-1) was administered at high intragastric volume (i.e., 75% of the threshold volume for discomfort; n = 7) and erythromycin (3 mg/kg) at high (n = 7) and low intragastric volume (i.e., at perception threshold; n = 7). Results: Glucagon decreased (P <0.05) baseline intragastric pressure and abolished gastric contractions (0 vs. 16.7 ± 2.3), whereas erythromycin increased (P <0.05) baseline pressure and doubled (P <0.05) the rate of gastric contractions at both volumes. Neither drug affected the rate of transient LES relaxations. Low intragastric volume induced a lower rate of transient LES relaxations (1.7 ± 0.3 vs. 5.7 ± 1.1; P <0.01) and gastric contractions (11.8 ± 2.5 vs. 20.5 ± 3.1; P <0.05) compared with high volume but similar baseline intragastric pressure (10.6 ± 0.6 vs. 11.9 ± 0.9 mm Hg). Conclusions: Stretch receptors (gastric volume) seem to be more relevant than tension receptors in triggering transient LES relaxation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
Issue number1 SUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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