2006 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 139-147
The defecation reflex is composed of rectal distension-evoked rectal (R-R) reflex contractions and synchronous internal anal sphincter (R-IAS) reflex relaxations in guinea pigs. These R-R and R-IAS reflexes are controlled via extrinsic sacral excitatory nerve pathway (pelvic nerves), lumbar inhibitory nerve pathways (colonic nerves) and by intrinsic cholinergic excitatory and nitrergic inhibitory nerve pathways. The effect of mosapride (a prokinetic benzamide) on the intrinsic reflexes, mediated via enteric 5-HT4 receptors, was evaluated by measuring the mechanical activity of the rectum and IAS in anesthetized guinea pigs using an intrinsic R-R and R-IAS reflex model resulting from chronic (two to nine days) lumbosacral denervation (PITH). In this model, the myenteric plexus remains undamaged and the distribution of myenteric and intramuscular interstitial cells of Cajal is unchanged. Although R-R and R-IAS reflex patterns markedly changed, the reflex indices (reflex pressure or force curve-time integral) of both the R-R contractions and the synchronous R-IAS relaxations were unchanged. The frequency of the spontaneous R and IAS motility was also unchanged. Mosapride (0.1-1.0 mg/kg) dose-dependently increased both intrinsic R-R (maximum: 1.82) and R-IAS reflex indices (maximum: 2.76) from that of the control (1.0) 6-9 days following chronic PITH. The dose-response curve was similar to that in the intact guinea pig, and had shifted to the left from that in the guinea pig after acute PITH. A specific 5-HT4 receptor antagonist, GR 113808 (1.0 mg/kg), decreased both reflex indices by approximately 50% and antagonized the effect of mosapride 1.0 mg/kg. This was quite different from the result in the intact guinea pig where GR 113808 (1.0 mg/kg) did not affect either of the reflex indices. The present results indicate that mosapride enhanced the intrinsic R-R and R-IAS reflexes and functionally compensated for the deprivation of extrinsic innervation. The actions of mosapride were mediated through endogenously active, intrinsic 5-HT4 receptors which may be post-synaptically located in the myenteric plexus of the anorectum.