The mechanical and electrical properties of the longitudinal (fundus and corpus) and circular (antrum) muscle fibres of the guinea-pig stomach were investigated. 1. In the longitudinal but not in the circular muscle isotonic K Krebs and Na-free (sucrose) Krebs solutions produced a contracture with a tonic component. The different mechanical responses were not accompanied by different membrane responses. Verapamil abolished both phasic and tonic components of K-induced contracture. 2. During the tonic response of the K-induced contracture, repolarization of the membrane by current pulses relaxed the tissue; after cessation of the current pulse, rebound contracture occurred. In the circular muscle, the Q10 value for the rate of relaxation induced by inward current pulse was 3-1 and for the development of rebound contracture was 2-4. 3. After the tissue had been immersed in Ca-free isotonic K Krebs solution, application of Ca produced a large contracture in the longitudinal muscle, but contracture in the circular muscle was small or absent. However, the amplitude of subsequent carbachol-induced contracture in the above solution was enlarged in proportion to the durations of Ca treatment in both tissues. 4. Direct tetanic electrical stimulation could produce tension in both tissues. With low frequency of stimulation (0-1 Hz) a positive staircase was observed in the circular but not in the longitudinal muscle. 5. It is concluded from these results that topical differences of the motility in the stomach may be due not only to the activity of nervous elements, but also to differences in the properties of the muscle fibres themselves
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