In vitro motor patterns and electrophysiological changes in patients with colonic diverticular disease

Diana Gallego, Francisco Espín, Jan Mikulka, Ondřej Šmirg, Víctor Gil, Marcos Faundez-Zanuy, Marcel Jiménez, Pere Clavé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The underlying mechanism responsible for motility changes in colonic diverticular disease (DD) is still unknown. In the present study, our aim was to investigate the structural and in vitro motor changes in the sigmoid colon of patients with DD. Methods: Muscle bath, microelectrodes and immunohistochemical techniques were performed with samples obtained from the left and sigmoid colon of patients with DD and compared with those of patients without DD. Results: The amplitude and area under the curve of the spontaneous rhythmic phasic contractions were greatly reduced in patients with DD whereas their frequency and tone remained unaltered. Electrical field stimulation induced a neurally mediated, enhanced ON-contraction (amplitude) in patients with DD and increased the duration of latency of OFF-contractions. The resting membrane potential of smooth muscle cells was hyperpolarized and the amplitude of the inhibitory junction potential was increased in patients with DD. In contrast, no significant histological differences were observed in patients with DD as smooth muscle (circular and longitudinal layers), interstitial cells of Cajal, glial cells and myenteric neurons densities remained unaltered. Conclusions: Sigmoid strips from patients with asymptomatic DD showed an altered motor pattern with reduced spontaneous motility and enhanced neurally mediated colonic responses involving both excitatory and inhibitory motor pathways. No major neural and muscular structural elements were detected at this stage of the disease. These findings could be valuable in understanding the pathophysiology of this prevalent digestive disease. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1413-1422
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013


  • Diverticular disease
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Excitatory motor neurons
  • Human in vitro motility patterns
  • Inhibitory motor neurons
  • Myenteric plexus


Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro motor patterns and electrophysiological changes in patients with colonic diverticular disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this