Original communication| Volume 139, ISSUE 3, P395-406, March 2006

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Induction and recovery of colonic motility/defecatory disorders after extrinsic denervation of the colon and rectum in rats


      Anterior resection for rectal disease is associated with extrinsic autonomic denervation of the neorectum, which may influence the myenteric plexus, and subsequently the motility/defecatory status after operation.


      A rat model with denervated neorectum was constructed. Colonic contractile activity in vivo, the amount of generic neuron marker (PGP 9.5) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) were measured periodically. The responses of the muscle strip in each period to electrical field stimulation were evaluated using various neurotransmitters.


      In rats with denervated neorectum, giant migrating contractions (GMCs) of the distal colon, the number of fecal lumps per day and their small size, significantly increased in the early phase postoperatively, although both recovered in the late-phase period. The contractile response of the muscle strip of the denervated colon to acetylcholine was reduced throughout the period; however, contraction of the denervated colon under the addition of NO inhibitor (l-NAME) was enhanced significantly in the late-phase period, and recovered to the control level by atropine. Neuronal NOS, but not PGP 9.5 concentration, in the myenteric plexus at the distal denervated colon, significantly increased in the late-phase period. None of the above items differed from the control at other colonic portions throughout the period.


      Extrinsic autonomic denervation causes abnormal hyper-motility in the neorectum, which may be associated with multiple evacuations in the early phase postoperatively. Increased acetylcholine and the subsequent increase of neuronal NOS in the myenteric plexus may be an adaptive mechanism to compensate for such abnormal colonic motility after extrinsic denervation.
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