An electrical description of the generation of slow waves in the antrum of the guinea-pig

Frank R. Edwards*, G. D.S. Hirst

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper provides an electrical description of the generation of slow waves in the guinea-pig gastric antrum. A short segment of a circular smooth muscle bundle with an attached network of myenteric interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC-MY) and longitudinal muscle sheet was modelled as three electrical compartments with resistive connexions between the ICC-MY compartment and each of the smooth muscle compartments. The circular smooth muscle layer contains a proportion of intramuscular interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC-IM), responsible for the regenerative component of the slow wave. Hence the equivalent cell representing the circular muscle layer incorporated a mechanism, modelled as a two stage reaction, which produces an intracellular messenger. The first stage of the reaction is proposed to be activated in a voltage-dependent manner as described by Hodgkin and Huxley. A similar mechanism was incorporated into the equivalent cell describing the ICC-MY network. Spontaneous discrete transient depolarizations, termed unitary potentials, are detected in records taken from either bundles of circular smooth muscle containing ICC-IM or from ICC-MY. In the simulation the mean rate of discharge of unitary potentials was allowed to vary with the concentration of messenger according to a conventional dose-effect relationship. Such a mechanism, which describes regenerative potentials generated by the circular muscle layer, also simulated the plateau component of the pacemaker potential in the ICC-MY network. A voltage-sensitive membrane conductance was included in the ICC-MY compartment; this was used to describe the primary component of the pacemaker potential. The model generates a range of membrane potential changes with properties similar to those generated by the three cell types present in the intact tissue.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)213-232
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005


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