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The gastro-ileac reflex: Further experimental observations


The activity of exteriorized loops of jejunum, ileum and colon in continuity in trained dogs was studied in relation to feeding.

A prompt motor response following feeding was noted in both the jejunal and the ileac loops. The response occurred more rapidly in jejunal than in the ileae loops. Moreover, in an animal in which two exteriorized loops of small intestine at different levels were prepared, the motor response constantly appeared in the loop at the higher level before appearing in the lower loop.

Feeding by a duodenal fistula gave as constant results as feeding by the mouth. Section of the intestine orad to the loop and reanastomosis in such a way as to prevent at least immediate union of the muscular coats and the intrinsic enteric plexuses, did not prevent the occurrence of the motor response. A constant motor response was noted, after feeding, in the distal part of the colon but not in its proximal part.

The findings are taken to suggest that following the ingestion of food, a wave of aetivity traveling at the rate of about 1 em. per second passes down the length of the small intestine. The gastro-colic reflex does not appear to be a part of this excitatory proeess.

It is suggested that the term gastro-ileae reflex is not sufficiently inelusive.

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Correspondence to Donald M. Douglas or Frank C. Mann.

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Douglas, D.M., Mann, F.C. The gastro-ileac reflex: Further experimental observations. American Journal of Digestive Diseases 7, 53–57 (1940).

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  • Small Intestine
  • Motor Response
  • Myenteric Plexus
  • Time Relationship
  • Jejunal Loop