Objective: Impaired gastric accommodation is reported in patients with functional dyspepsia (FD). Previous findings in postinfectious patients with FD suggest that low-grade inflammation and dysfunction of nitrergic nerves play a role in impaired accommodation. To date, spontaneous animal models to study the relationship between these changes are lacking. We hypothesise that the normoglycaemic BioBreeding diabetes-prone (BB-DP) rat provides an animal model of inflammation-induced impaired gastric motor function. Design: Control diabetes-resistant biobreeding, normoglycaemic and hyperglycaemic BB-DP rats were sacrificed at the age of 30, 70 and 220 days and gastric fundus tissue was harvested to study nitrergic motor control, inflammation and expression of neuronal isoform of nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and inducible isoform of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Nutrient-induced changes in intragastric pressure (IGP) were measured in normoglycaemic BB-DP rats to study accommodation. Results: No differences in nitrergic function and inflammation were observed between BB-DP and control rats at 30 days. The nitrergic component of the fundic muscle relaxation was reduced in BB-DP rats of 70 and 220 days. This was accompanied by a significant loss of nNOS proteins. IGP significantly increased during nutrient infusion in BB-DP rats of 220 days, indicating impaired accommodation. Infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells, increased myeloperoxidase activity and increased expression of iNOS was observed in the fundic mucosa and muscularis propria of 70-day-old and 220-day-old BB-DP rats. Conclusions: BB-DP rats of 220 days display altered fundic motor control and impaired accommodation, which is least partially explained by loss of nitrergic function. This may be related to inflammatory changes in the neuromuscular layer, suggesting that normoglycaemic BB-DP rats provide a spontaneous model for inflammation-induced impaired gastric accommodation.
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