Circular muscle from cat intestine exhibits spontaneous rhythmical contractions only when it is attached to longitudinal muscle. Under these conditions electrical slow waves can be recorded from circular muscle, but they disappear following complete removal of the longitudinal layer. If a small patch of longitudinal muscle remains, slow waves can be recorded from adjacent circular muscle. Those recorded lateral to the longitudinal layer are synchronized with slow waves recorded directly from this layer. Their amplitude decreases exponentially with distance, approaching zero at about 12 mm from the lateral edges and about 3 mm from the oral or aboral edge of the longitudinal layer. Slow waves can also be recorded across the entire intestinal wall or across a longitudinal-circular muscle preparation. With this method of recording, the amplitude of the slow waves decreases as the thickness of the circular layer is reduced by stripping away its innermost layers. The amplitude is not increased by replacing these layers. These results indicate that slow waves may be transmitted electrotonically from longitudinal to circular muscle, implying the existence of electrical continuity between the two muscle layers. The transmission of slow waves can account for the coordinated spontaneous rhythmicity exhibited by circular muscle under normal conditions, i.e., when attached to the longitudinal layer.
- intestinal slow waves
- smooth muscle
- intestinal contractions
- electrical activity of intestine
- Copyright © 1965 by American Physiological Society