The protocol detailed in this unit is designed to assess intestinal peristaltic motility in the isolated small intestine in vitro and to measure the effects of drugs able to interfere with gut propulsive activity. The procedure is based on Trendelenburg's classic technique, described at the beginning of the 20th century in the isolated guinea pig ileum and, later on, extended to other intestinal preparations from the same animal and other animal species. This unit illustrates the basic procedures for setting up the intestinal preparation, recording peristalsis under near‐physiologic conditions, and testing the pharmaco‐toxicological effects of drugs and pollutants on the contractile behavior of the gut wall. The protocol allows evaluating the action of drugs affecting sensory and/or motor neurons of the enteric nervous system and how these neurons control the development of the motor program of the gut wall. This model can be exploited to investigate novel compounds undergoing preclinical development and both inhibitors and stimulants of gastrointestinal peristaltic activity, as well as environmental or alimentary pollutants, like xenobiotics and naturally‐occurring toxins, endowed with noxious activity with regard to digestive functions. Curr. Protoc. Toxicol. 54:21.11.1‐21.11.14. © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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