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Sympathetic and parasympathetic regulation of rectal motility in rats. J Gastrointest Surg 2009 Nov;13(11):2027-33; discussion 2033



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-77952986555 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   19 Citations


INTRODUCTION: The colon and rectum are regulated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Abnormalities of the ANS are associated with diseases of the colon and rectum while its modulation is a putative mechanism for sacral nerve stimulation. The purpose of this study is to establish a rat model elucidating the role of the efferent ANS on rectal motility.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rectal motility following transection or stimulation of parasympathetic pelvic nerves (PN) or sympathetic hypogastric nerves (HGN) was measured with rectal strain gauge transducers and quantified as a motility index (MI). Colonic transit was measured 24 hours after transection by calculating the geometric center (GC) of distribution of (51)Cr

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Transection of PN and HGN decreased MI to 518 +/- 185 g*s (p < 0.05) and increased MI to 5,029 +/- 1,954 g*s (p < 0.05), respectively, compared to sham (975 +/- 243 g*s). Sectioning of PN and HGN decreased transit with GC = 4.9 +/- 0.2 (p < 0.05) and increased transit with GC = 8.1 +/- 0.7 (p < 0.02), respectively, compared to sham (GC = 5.8 +/- 0.3). Stimulation of PN and HGN increased MI to 831 +/- 157% (p < 0.01) and decreased MI to 251 +/- 24% (p < 0.05), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Rectal motility is significantly altered by sectioning or stimulating either HGN or PN. This model may be useful in studying how sacral nerve stimulation exerts its effects and provide insight into the maladies of colonic motility.

Author List

Ridolfi TJ, Tong WD, Takahashi T, Kosinski L, Ludwig KA


Kirk A. Ludwig MD Chief, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Timothy J. Ridolfi MD, MS, FACS Associate Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Electric Stimulation
Gastrointestinal Motility
Gastrointestinal Transit
Hypogastric Plexus
Models, Animal
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Sympathetic Nervous System