Previous studies suggest that nitric oxide synthase is upregulated after small bowel transplantation which may have implications in enteric dysfunction after small bowel transplantation. The aim of this study was to determine the role of nitric oxide in nonadrenergic, noncholinergic inhibitory function after small bowel transplantation in rat jejunal circular muscle. The following four groups of rats (n = >/=8 rats per group) were studied: Neurally intact control animals; 1 week after anesthesia and sham celiotomy, and either 1 week or 8 weeks after isogeneic, orthotopic small bowel transplantation. Full-thickness jejunal circular muscle strips were evaluated under isometric conditions for spontaneous contractile activity, response to electrical field stimulation, and effects of exogenous nitric oxide and nitric oxide antagonists. Spontaneous activity did not differ among groups. Electrical field stimulation inhibited activity similarly in all groups. Exogenous nitric oxide, NG-monomethyl L-arginine monoacetate salt (a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor), and methylene blue (cGMP antagonist) had no effect on spontaneous activity. Neither nitric oxide antagonist altered the inhibitory response to neural excitation by electrical field stimulation in any group. Nitric oxide, a known inhibitory neurotransmitter in other gut smooth muscle, has no apparent role in rat jejunal circular muscle before or after small bowel transplantation.