Pulse Width-Dependent Effects of Intestinal Electrical Stimulation for Obesity: Role of Gastrointestinal Motility and Hormones

Shiying Li, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: The goals of this experiment were to study therapeutic potential of intestinal electrical stimulation (IES) for obesity, its mechanisms involving gastrointestinal motility and hormones, and role of pulse width in diet-induced obese rats. Methods: In a 4-week study, rats equipped with one pair of electrodes at the duodenum were assigned to receive either a sham or IES of varied pulse widths in a sequential way. Food intake was measured daily and body weight measured weekly. Blood samples were collected for the measurement of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). Solid gastric emptying (GE) and small bowel transit (SIT) tests were performed at the end of the experiment. Results: The results of the study were as follows: (1) Daily food intake, not affected by IES of 0.3 ms, was pulse width-dependently reduced by 1.9 g with 1 ms and by 5.7 g with 3 ms. Accordingly, body weight was pulse width-dependently reduced by 2.4 g with 1 ms and by 12.8 g with 3 ms compared to a gain of 5.6 g in sham. (2) GLP-1 level was elevated by both 0.3 and 3 ms at 15 min, but was elevated only with 3 ms at 60 min. (3) GE was delayed to 52.3 % by IES of 3 ms but not 0.3 ms, compared to that at 64.4 % with sham IES. (4) Compared to the geometric center of 7.0 with sham IES, SIT was accelerated by 3 ms to 7.8 but not by 0.3 ms. Conclusion: IES pulse width-dependently reduces food intake and body weight, attributed to the delay of gastric emptying and the acceleration of small bowel transit, as well as the enhancement of GLP-1 secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-77
Number of pages8
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Glucagon-like peptide-1
  • Intestinal electrical stimulation
  • Neuromodulation
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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