Mammalian neurotensin, originally isolated from bovine hypothalamus, differs from avian neurotensin (aNT) by 6 amino acid residues. Bovine neurotensin has been shown to affect motility of chicken crop and rectum and secretion of chicken ileum, but there have been no studies of the effects of aNT on avian intestinal function. This study was designed to characterize the effects of aNT on the motility of the chicken lower gut. Strain gauge transducers were used in vivo to measure contractions of chicken distal ileum, cecum, and distal colon in response to 30-min infusions of aNT at rates of 15, 30, 60 or 600 pmol·kg-1·min-1. In vitro experiments were conducted using segments of distal ileum, cecum or distal colon, stripped of mucosa, cut in either the longitudinal or circular plane, and suspended isometrically in isolated organ tissue baths at a resting tension of 1 g. Avian neurotensin, substance P (SP), or carbamylcholine (CCH) were administered to the bath and the tension generated by each tissue was recorded via a force transducer. A relaxation of chicken ileum was observed in response to aNT infusion in vivo. Except for stimulation of excretation, colon and cecum were not affected by aNT infusion. Both aNT and SP stimulated motility of chicken ileum and cecum in vitro. SP had no consistent effect on colon and aNT only increased contractile force of colon circular muscle. It was concluded that both aNT and SP may have a role in the regulation of lower gut motility in avian species.
- Small intestine
- Substance P