Unitary discharges were recorded from the inferior mesenteric ganglion of decerebrate dogs. Eighty-one units were identified as sympathetic postganglionic neurons innervating the colon and rectum by collision test performed by stimulation of the lumbar colonic nerve. Discharges of four units were enhanced simultaneously with an increased outflow of the renal nerve by pinching a toe. Thus, those units were regarded as vasoconstrictors of colonic blood vessels. Sixty-five units whose discharges were depressed or not affected by the pinching were regarded as neurons innervating colonic smooth muscle or mucosa (colonic units). Discharges were enhanced in the majority of the colonic units by colonic, rectal, and vesical distension, and mechanical stimulation of the anal canal, while discharges were depressed in a few units by rectal and vesical distension, and the anal canal stimulation. The number and percentage of the depressed units increased not only after cutting the hypogastric nerves and descending branches of the lumbar colonic nerve but also after transection of the caudal pons. The reflex depressions disappeared after transection at the bulbospinal junction, but the reflex enhancements remained. These results indicate that the colonic units are enhanced through a spinal reflex by the inflows from the distal colon, rectum, anal canal, and urinary bladder through the lumbar colonic, hypogastric, pelvic, and pudendal nerves, while a few are inhibited through a supraspinal reflex by inflows through the pelvic and pudendal nerves.
- autonomic reflex
- inferior mesenteric ganglion
- sympathetic postganglionic neuron
ASJC Scopus subject areas