Cisapride stimulates contraction of idiopathic megacolonic smooth muscle in cats.

A. H. Hasler, R. J. Washabau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that cisapride, a substituted piperidinyl benzamide, stimulates contraction of healthy feline colonic smooth muscle. The purpose of the present investigation was to determine the effect of cisapride on feline idiopathic megacolonic smooth muscle function. Longitudinal smooth muscle strips from ascending and descending colon were obtained from cats with idiopathic megacolon, suspended in a 1.5 mM Ca(2+)-HEPES buffer solution (37 degrees C, 100% O2, pH 7.4), attached to isometric force transducers, and stretched to optimal muscle length (Lo). Control responses were obtained at each muscle site with acetylcholine (10(-8) to 10(-4) M), substance P (10(-11) to 10(-7) M), or potassium chloride (10 to 80 mM). Muscles were then stimulated with cumulative (10(-9) to 10(-6) M) doses of cisapride in the absence or presence of tetrodotoxin (10(-6) M) and atropine (10(-6) M), or in a 0 calcium HEPES buffer solution. In cats with idiopathic megacolon, cisapride stimulated contractions of longitudinal smooth muscle from both the ascending and the descending colon. Cisapride-induced contractions were similar in magnitude to those induced by substance P and acetylcholine in the ascending colon, but were less than those observed in the descending colon. Cisapride-induced contractions in megacolonic smooth muscle were only partially inhibited by tetrodotoxin and atropine, but were virtually abolished by removal of extracellular calcium. We concluded that cisapride-induced contractions of feline megacolonic smooth muscle are largely smooth muscle mediated and dependent on influx of extracellular calcium. Cisapride-induced contractions in megacolonic smooth muscle are only partially dependent on enteric cholinergic nerves. Thus, cisapride may be useful in the treatment of cats with idiopathic megacolon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-318
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of veterinary internal medicine / American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997


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