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Nitrergic modulation of acetylcholine release in the enteric nervous system: differences between guinea-pig and man

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image of Inflammopharmacology

The effects of the NO donor, SNAP, and of the NO-synthase inhibitor, L-NNA, on release of acetylcholine and contractions were studied in isolated ileum preparations of man and guinea-pig. Strips were incubated with [3H]choline and superfused with a physiological salt solution. Release of [3H]acetylcholine was elicited by electrical stimulation. In the guinea-pig ileum, SNAP (100 μM) increased basal [3H]acetylcholine release and muscle tone, and, in addition, inhibited the electrically-evoked release and contractions. In contrast, SNAP had no effect on basal or evoked [3H]acetylcholine release in the human ileum. L-NNA (300 μM) facilitated the evoked release and contractions of the guinea-pig ileum, but had no effect in the human ileum. It is concluded that endogenous NO exerts a tonic inhibitory effect on cholinergic neurotransmission in the guinea-pig ileum which contributes to the relaxant effect of NO. The results do not indicate that NO has a similar function in the human ileum.


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