The action of substance P on neurons of the myenteric plexus of the guinea-pig small intestine

Y. Katayama, R. A. North, J. T. Williams

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112 Scopus citations


Extracellular and intracellular recordings were made in vitro from single neurons of the myenteric plexus of the guinea-pig small intestine. Synthetic substance P was applied to the neurons by means of the perfusing solution or by electrophoresis from micropipettes. Extra-cellular recording showed that substance P (100 pM-30 nM), applied by perfusion, increased the firing rate of myenteric neurons. Intracellular recording indicated that perfusion with substance P caused a dose-dependent membrane depolarization which was unaffected by hexamethonium, hyoscine, naloxone or baclofen. The depolarization was also evoked by electrophoretic application of substance P. It was associated with an increase in membrane resistance, augmented by membrane depolarization and reduced by membrane hyperpolarization. The relation between the substance P reversal potential and the logarithm of the extracellular potassium concentration was linear with a slope of 54 mV/log10[K+], which indicates that substance P inactivates the resting potassium conductance of the myenteric neurons. This effect on ion conductance is the same as that of an unknown substance that mediates slow synaptic excitations with the myenteric plexus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-208
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society of London - Biological Sciences
Issue number1163
StatePublished - 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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