Adrenoceptors and intestinal fluid and electrolyte transport in the rat

  • Robert J. Williams

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Noradrenaline was found to significantly stimulate fluid and Na absorption across everted sacs of rat jejunum. Of a number of a1, and 2-adrenoceptor antagonists tested only prazosin significantly inhibited the stimulant effect of noradrenaline and further experiments revealed an antiabsorptive effect of prazosin alone. Theophylline reduced jejunal fluid and Na absorption and this effect was not reversed by 2-adrenoceptor stimulation in contrast to previous findings in vivo. Evidence suggests the everted sac preparation is not appropriate to the study of intestinal fluid and electrolyte transport. The investigation of Jejunal ion transport in vitro was continued using an Ussing chamber preparation. Selective 2-adrenoceptor stimulation was found to depress electrogenic anion secretion, as neurotoxin tetrodotoxin indicated that this was a direct epithelial effect. 2-adrenoceptor agonists have considerable therapeutic value as antisecretory agents and the model of rat jejunum in vitro represents a convenient experimental model for research in this area. The selective 2-adrenoceptor antagonist ICI 118551 decreased basal SCC and inhibited increases in SCC in response to isoprenaline or salbutamol indicating the presence of a 2-adrenoceptor mechanism mediating both secretory tone and increases in secretory processes. Many intestinal secretagogues elicit electrolyte secretion via the stimulation of intramural secretory nervous pathways. If these pathways involve the activation of 2-adrenoceptorsthe 2-adrenoceptor antagonists may be useful in the treatment of diarrhoeal diseases. A single pass lumen perfusion technique was used to investigate possible sympathetic tone over colonic fluid and electrolyte absorption in the rat colon in vivo. The technique employed appeared to lack the necessary resolution for this study and alternative approaches are discussed
Date of Award1986
Original languageEnglish


  • Adrenoceptors
  • intestinal fluid
  • electrolyte transport
  • rat

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