Effects of Intragastric L-Arginine Administration on Proximal Stomach Tone Under Basal Conditions and After an Intragastric Diet
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Nitric oxide (NO) plays an important role as a nonadrenergic, noncholinergic inhibitory neurotransmitter in the GI tract. Our study aims were to investigate the effect of a single intragastric L-arginine (L-Arg) administration, as a source of NO, on proximal stomach tone in basal and postintragastric administration of a polymeric diet in humans and to evaluate concomitantly the effect on antral area as an indirect assessment of gastric emptying. Eight healthy volunteers were studied in a randomized double-blind crossover study after, respectively, 15 g L-Arg, 30 g L-Arg, or placebo administered in the stomach through a gastric tube. The drug administration was followed by a polymeric diet infusion (500 ml/500 kcal) at a rate of 250 ml/hr. Gastric tone variations were recorded with an electronic barostat, gastric emptying was concomitantly estimated by repeated ultrasound measurements of antral area, and symptoms were recorded throughout the experiment.
L-Arg administration was associated with significantly higher increases in barostat bag volumes at both dosages, 30 g (117±16 ml) and 15 g (67±15 ml), compared to placebo (46±11 ml; P < 0.05). In response to the polymeric diet the 30-g L-Arg challenge was associated with a smaller increase in intrabag volume, whereas postinfusion final volumes did not differ in the three treatment conditions. Antral areas were not different at any time of measurement among the three challenges. Bloating and diarrhea were observed after 30-g L-Arg administration in five subjects of eight. Short-term L-Arg administration was able to induce proximal stomach relaxation that allowed a secondary response to enteral feeding only at the 15-g dosage. This 15-g dosage was as well tolerated as the placebo and was associated with no significant changes in gastric emptying patterns.
KeywordsL-Arginine Fundic relaxation Barostat Enteral feeding Double-blind placebo-controlled study
This work was supported in part by a grant from Nutricia-France.
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