The role of prostaglandins in maintenance of basal myogenic tone of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) of opossum has been studied in vivo. Intra-arterial infusion of arachidonic acid decreased LES tone, and this was inhibited by intravenous indomethacin (IDM) or intra-arterial 5,8,11,14-eicosatetraynoic acid (ETA). Alone these drugs did not reduce LES tone except transiently. In addition they did not affect relaxation of the LES to distention of a balloon located proximal to it or inhibit the "off" contractions of esophageal body and LES pressure which followed balloon deflation. Spontaneous oscillations of LES pressure were increased with IDM. Thus prostaglandin synthesis plays no essential role in maintenance of resting LES tone or in functioning of non-adrenergic inhibitory nerves in the esophagus in vivo. Endogenous inhibitory prostaglandins might reduce LES tone if synthesized in increased amounts.
- Lower esophageal sphincter
- Non-adrenergic inhibitory nerves
- Sphincter tone
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