Stimulation of oesophageal motility in the cat : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science in Physiology at Massey University of Manawatu in the Department of Veterinary Biology
Literature concerned with reports or stimuli which cause or
modify oesophageal activity have been reviewed and has been associated
with the evidence obtained in the experiments undertaken.
The preparations of cats which have been used in these experiments
Anaesthetised cats. Chloralose 70 mgm/kgm injected as a
solution in saline (70°C), or an organic solvent (dimethyl
Decerebrated cats with the spinal cord sectioned at the sixth
Decerebrated cats with the spinal cord sectioned at the third
Cats with the central nervous system totally destroyed by
Oesophageal motility has been recorded by isometric and isotonic
systems. In all cases oesophageal contractions were detected by
balloons 3-5 cc volume.
Contractions of the terminal oesophagus in response to distension of this
region have been obtained in the absence of an extrinsic innervation.
These results, and those obtained in decerebrate
preparations, indicated the existence of both local and inter-oesophageal reactions. These intrinsic reactions were found to be
reflexly modified by stimuli arising in other parts of the preparations,
particularly the alimentary tract. The reflexes appeared to
be mediated certainly through vagal and possibly through sympathetic
afferents to centres in the medulla oblongata or pons. Vagal efferent
pathways have been shown to affect the oesophagus, and indications of
a sympathetic efferent innervation of the oesophagus have been
Stimuli which facilitated the local responses of the terminal
oesophagus to distension were:-
Greater degrees of distension of this region of the oesophagus.
(Very high levels of distension tended to be inhibitory.)
Acidification of the mucosa of the terminal regions of the
Acidification of the isolated stomach to a pH of about 2.0.
Stimuli which inhibited the response of the terainal oesophagus
to distension were:-
Distension of a more cranial region of the oesophagus.
High degrees of distension of the oesophagus at the point from
which the recording was taken.
Distension of the stomach.
Noxious stimuli arising from the operative procedures.
These facilitatory and inhibitory stimuli were found to summate.
The oesophageal response observed was a reflection of the nett afferent
Reactions of the oesophagus to cholinergic and adrenergic drugs
and blocking agents such as atropine, hexamethonium and nicotine have
The results are discussed in relation to the function of the
oesophagus in the intact animal and in relation to how co-ordinated
responses are obtained in swallowing and other circumstances.