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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Evaluation of Peristalsis in Multiple Segments of the Guinea-pig Isolated Small Intestine: Optimisation of Tissue Use by Refined In Vitro Methodology

Peter Holzer, Anaid Shahbazian, Evelin Painsipp and Akos Heinemann

Peristalsis is the aboral movement by which the intestine propels its contents. Since pharmacological research requires an experimental model with which drug-induced modifications of peristalsis can be reliably quantified, we set out to develop and validate an in vitro method for studying peristalsis in multiple gut segments. In our arrangement, up to four 10cm segments isolated from the guinea-pig jejunum and ileum can be set up in parallel and their lumens perfused. Peristalsis was elicited by pressure-evoked wall distension, and the peristalsis-induced changes in the intraluminal pressure were evaluated with software that determined the peristaltic pressure threshold, the frequency, maximal acceleration and amplitude of the peristaltic waves, and the residual baseline pressure. Validation experiments showed that the peristalsis parameters at baseline and after modification by morphine (0.01–10µM) did not differ between segments from the jejunum and ileum, or between segments examined in a consecutive manner. In conclusion, our work succeeded in optimising the use of the guinea-pig jejunum and ileum for multiple recordings of peristalsis in vitro, and in refining the recording and evaluation of peristaltic motility. This system promises to be particularly useful in the pharmacological screening and testing of drugs which modify peristalsis.