• growth-hormone secretagogue receptor;
  • vagotomy;
  • vagus nerve

Abstract  In humans and dogs, motilin regulates phase III contractions of migrating motor complex (MMC) in the interdigestive state, while ghrelin regulates MMC in rats. It still remains unclear whether ghrelin regulates phase III contractions of the mouse stomach. A miniature strain gauge transducer was sutured on the antrum to detect circular muscle contractions and gastric contractions of the interdigestive state were evaluated. Effects of ghrelin, a ghrelin receptor antagonist, and atropine on spontaneous gastric contractions were studied in freely moving conscious mice. Similar to the rat stomach, phase III-like contractions were observed in the interdigestive state, which disappeared immediately after the feeding. Ghrelin augmented spontaneous phase III-like contractions, while growth-hormone secretagogue receptor antagonists and atropine abolished the occurrence of spontaneous phase III-like contractions. The spontaneous phase III-like contractions were no more observed in vagotomized mice. These results suggest that ghrelin regulates phase III-like contractions in mice stomach via its own receptors. Ghrelin-induced gastric phase III-like contractions are mediated via vagal cholinergic pathways in mice. Our recording system of mice gastric motility may be useful to study the functional changes in gene knockout mice, in the future.