Adrenoceptor influences on fluid and electrolyte transport in the rat intestine

  • Colin J. Urquhart

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


An investigation of rat jejunal and distal colonic electrolyte transport in-vitro was undertaken using an Ussing chamber prepartion. Selective α2-adrenoceptor stimualtion in the jejunum was found to depress theo-phylline elevated anion secretion, as evidenced by decreases in short- circuit current (SCC). or α1 -Adrenoceptor stimulation, after α2 -adrenoceptor antagonism in the jejunum, evoked transient increases in basal anion secretion, as reflected by transient increases in basal SCC. The use of the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin indicated that this was a direct epithelial secretory effect. 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) on the jejunum elicited transient increases in basal anion secretion, as demonstrated by transient increases in basal SCC. The use of tetrodotoxin, reserpine and α1 -adrenoceptor antagonists, indicated that a major component of this epithelial secretory effect by 5-HT, was associated with activation of intramural nervous pathways of the sympathetic nervous system, ultimately stimulating α1-adrenoceptors. This might represent an important secretory mechanism by 5-HT in the jejunum. β2-Adrenoceptor stimulation in the distal colon was found to decrease basal SCC, as evidenced by the metoprolol resistant effect of the selective β2- adrenoceptor agonist salbutamol, and lack of effect of the selective β1-adrenoceptor agonist prenalterol.
An investigation of rat distal colonic fluid and electrolyte transport in-vivo was undertaken using an colonic loop technique. Although a basal colonic absorption of Na+ and Cl-, and a secretion of K+ were observed, these processes were not under tonic α-adrenergic regulation, as evidenced by the lack of effect of selective α-adrenoceptor antagonism. The secretory effects of prostaglandin-E2 were inhibited by α-adrenoceptor activation, whereas such stimulation did not evoke pro-absorptive responses upon basal transport, unlike noradrenaline.
Date of AwardJun 1990
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorC.B. Ferry (Supervisor)


  • Adrenoceptor
  • intestinal
  • jejumum
  • colon
  • transport

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