Inhibition of Sphincter of Oddi Function by the Nitric Oxide Carrier S-nitroso-N-acetylcysteine in Rabbits and Humans

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Nitric oxide (NO) is an inhibitor of gastrointestinal smooth muscle.Model systems of the gut predict that NO will complex with biological thiol (SH) groups, yielding S-nitrosothiols (RS-NO), which may limit the propensity to form mutagenic nitrosamines. The inhibitory effects of NO and its biologically relevant adducts on sphincter of Oddi (SO) motility have been inferred from animal studies; however, their importance in regulating human SO is not known. The objectives of this study were to (a) provide histologic confirmation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in human SO; (b) characterize the pharmacology of S-nitroso-N-acetylcysteine (SNAC), an exemplary S-nitrosothiol, on SO motility in a rabbit model; and (c) study the effects of topical SNAC on SO motility in humans.Immunocytochemical and histochemical identification of NOS was performed in human SO.The pharmacologic response of SNAC was defined in isolated rabbit SO using a standard bioassay. Topical SNAC was then applied to the duodenal papilla in patients undergoing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and biliary manometry.NOS was localized to nerve fibers and bundles of the SO in rabbits and humans.SNAC inhibited spontaneous motility (frequency and amplitude) as well as acetylcholine-induced elevations in SO basal pressure in the rabbit model. In patients undergoing ERCP and biliary manometry, topical SNAC inhibited SO contraction frequency, basal pressure, and duodenal motility.NOS is localized to neural elements in human SO, implicating a role for NO in regulating SO function.Supporting this concept, SNAC is an inhibitor of SO and duodenal motility when applied topically to humans during ERCP. Our data suggest a novel clinical approach using local NO donors to control gastrointestinal motility and regulate sphincteric function. (J. Clin. Invest. 1994. 94:1792-1798.) Key words: nitric oxide. S-nitroso-N-acetylcysteine. nitrosothiol. endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. sphincter of Oddi

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