The influence of adrenergic drugs and electrical stimulation of the splanchnic nerves on concentrating function and motility in the feline gall bladder and on heptic bile secretion have been studied in vivo. It was found that electrical stimulation of the splanchnic nerves and adrenergic alpha-receptor stimulation increase the rate of net water absorption from the gall bladder lumen. Adrenergic beta-receptor stimulation relaxed the gall bladder but did not influence the concentrating function. A direct effect on the mucosal cells and/or a ganglionic inhibition of intramural VIP-releasing neurons is suggested as a possible mechanism for the alpha-adrenergic increase of the net water absorption rate. The results are discussed in relation to the adrenergic influence on water absorption in the small intestine. As a functional consequence of an increase in the concentrating activity of the gall bladder in situations of high adrenergic activity a more rapid accumulation of organic contents in its lumen is suggested.
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