Stimulation of the nucleus locus coeruleus/subcoeruleus suppresses visceromotor responses to colorectal distention in the rat

  • Tsuruoka M
  • Maeda M
  • Inoue T
  • 5


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 5


    Citations of this article.


The aim of the present study was to examine whether the nucleus locus coeruleus/subcoeruleus (LC/SC) modulates visceromotor function. In the present study, an electromyogram (EMG) of the external abdominal oblique muscle evoked by colorectal distention was measured as a visceromotor reflex response, and inhibitory effects of LC/SC stimulation were estimated by the decrease of EMG activity. Under halothane anesthesia (1% in air), graded colorectal distentions (30, 60 or 80 mmHg) were produced by inflating a balloon inside the descending colon and rectum. A bipolar EMG electrode was inserted into the left external abdominal oblique muscle to record the EMG response to colorectal distention. Colorectal distention at a pressure of 30 mmHg did not evoke any EMG activity in the external abdominal oblique muscle in all rats tested. Electrical stimulation of the LC/SC (30, 50 and 70 μA, 100 Hz, 0.1 ms pulses) reduced EMG responses evoked by colorectal distention to 60 and 80 mmHg. LC/SC stimulation was effective both ipsilaterally and contralaterally indicating a bilateral effect. EMG responses decreased with an increase of LC/SC stimulation intensity. Following recordings of the inhibitory effects of LC/SC stimulation, lesions of the LC/SC ipsilateral to the EMG recording site were induced; 1 h after lesions the inhibitory effects of LC/SC stimulation were examined again. LC/SC stimulation did not reduce the EMG responses when LC/SC stimulation was applied to the ipsilateral LC/SC, whereas EMG responses were observed by stimulation of the intact LC/SC contralateral to the EMG recording site. From lesion experiments, it could be considered that suppression of the visceromotor response to colorectal distention is due to activation of the LC/SC. The results suggest that the visceromotor function is under the control of the centrifugal pathways from the LC/SC. © 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Colorectal distention
  • Locus coeruleus
  • Subcoeruleus
  • Suppression
  • Visceromotor response

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free