The membrane potentials of single smooth muscle fibers of various regions of the stomach were measured, and do not differ from those measured in intestinal muscle. Spontaneous slow waves with superimposed spikes could be recorded from the longitudinal and circular muscle of the antrum. The development of tension was preceded by spikes but often tension appeared only when the slow waves were generated. Contracture in high K solution developed at a critical membrane potential of -42 mv. MnCl2 blocked the spike generation, then lowered the amplitude of the slow wave. On the other hand, withdrawal of Na+, or addition of atropine and tetrodotoxin inhibited the generation of most of the slow waves but a spike could still be elicited by electrical stimulation. Prostigmine enhanced and prolonged the slow wave; acetylcholine depolarized the membrane without change in the frequency of the slow waves. Chronaxie for the spike generation in the longitudinal muscle of the antrum was 30 msec and conduction velocity was 1.2 cm/sec. The time constant of the foot of the propagated spike was 28 msec. The space constants measured from the longitudinal and circular muscles of the antrum were 1.1 mm and 1.4 mm, respectively.

This content is only available as a PDF.