Gastric electrical stimulation inhibits postprandial antral tone partially via nitrergic pathway in conscious dogs

Ying Sun, J. D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Gastric electrical stimulation (GES) has recently been explored as a therapeutic option for gastrointestinal motility disorders or obesity. The mechanism behind it is not fully elucidated. The aims of this study were to assess the effects of GES with different parameters on antral tone and to explore the involvement of the nitrergic pathway. Eight dogs equipped with a gastric cannula and one pair of serosal electrodes in the greater curvature 4 cm above the pylorus were studied on separate days. The study was composed of seven randomized sessions in the fed state [control, GES with different parameters, and GES plus neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor]. Each session included three consecutive 30-min periods (baseline, GES, and recovery). GES was performed with long pulses or pulse trains. The antral volume was measured using an intragastric balloon connected with a barostat device. Behaviors of the dogs during each stimulation period were also noted. We found that 1) postprandial antral tone was reduced with GES with all tested parameter settings, reflected as a significant and substantial increase in antral volume ranging from 179 to 309%; 2) the inhibitory effect of GES on antral tone was partially blocked (decreased by 39.5%) with an nNOS inhibitor; and 3) mild symptoms were induced with GES and found to be correlated with the GES-induced increase in antral volume. We conclude that retrograde GES with long pulses or pulse trains inhibits antral tone, and this inhibitory effect is partially mediated via the nitrergic pathway. These results suggest that retrograde GES may have a therapeutic potential for obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R904-R908
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Antral tone
  • Gastric electrical stimulation
  • Neuronal nitric oxide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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