Colon electrical stimulation: Potential use for treatment of obesity

Hanaa S. Sallam, Jiande D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Obesity is one of the most prevalent health problems in the United States. Current therapeutic strategies for the treatment of obesity are unsatisfactory. We hypothesized the use of colon electrical stimulation (CES) to treat obesity by inhibiting upper gastrointestinal motility. In this preliminary study, we aimed at studying the effects of CES on gastric emptying of solid, intestinal motility, and food intake in dogs. Six dogs, equipped with serosal colon electrodes and a jejunal cannula, were randomly assigned to receive sham-CES or CES during the assessment of: (i) gastric emptying of solids, (ii) postprandial intestinal motility, (iii) autonomic functions, and (iv) food intake. We found that (i) CES delayed gastric emptying of solids by 77%. Guanethidine partially blocked the inhibitory effect of CES on solid gastric emptying; (ii) CES significantly reduced intestinal contractility and the effect lasted throughout the recovery period; (iii) CES decreased vagal activity in both fasting and fed states, increased the sympathovagal balance and marginally increased sympathetic activity in the fasting state; (iv) CES resulted in a reduction of 61% in food intake. CES reduces food intake in healthy dogs and the anorexigenic effect may be attributed to its inhibitory effects on gastric emptying and intestinal motility, mediated via the autonomic mechanisms. Further studies are warranted to investigate the therapeutic potential of CES for obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1761-1767
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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