1. The persistaltic activity of the guinea-pig ileum was studied in the absence and in the presence of the blockade of GABA(A) receptors. 2. Bicuculline (1-30 μM), improved at the highest concentrations the efficiency of peristalsis by enhancing the frequency of propulsive contractions and the amount of fluid ejected per unit of time. 3. Neither SR 95531 (0.3-10 μM), a novel GABA(A) receptor antagonist, which competitively antagonized 3-aminopropane sulphonic acid induced contractions in myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle preparations (pA2 value: 6.47), nor picrotoxinin (1-30 μM) modified peristaltic parameters or influenced the potentiating effect of bicuculline on peristaltic activity. 4. In myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle preparations, bicuculline (1-30 μM) enhanced the amplitude of electrically-induced cholinergic contractions without modifying submaximal contractions to applied acetylcholine. SR 95531 and picrotoxinin had no effect on twitch amplitude. In the presence of each of these compounds, bicuculline retained its potentiating effect. 5. The results obtained with SR 95531 and picrotoxinin question the view that GABA(A) receptors may exert a critical role in intestinal propulsion by modulating the activity of nerve pathways subserving peristalsis. Bicuculline potentiates the peristaltic activity of the ileum probably via a facilitatory effect on enteric cholinergic transmission that is independent of GABA(A) receptor blockade.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||British Journal of Pharmacology|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
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