Chemical Coding of Neurons in the Gastrointestinal Tract

  • M. Costa
  • S. Brookes
  • P. Steele
  • J. Vickers
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 298)

Abstract

The gastrointestinal tract, unlike most of the other internal organs, contains a rich and complex neuronal system embedded within its wall. The first description of this system dates back to the middle of the last century when Meissner and Auerbach first described the rich neuronal network made of microganglia and nerve bundles forming the myenteric and submucous plexuses (Meissner, 1857; Auerbach, 1864). By the turn of the century Bayliss and Starling (1889) first, followed by Langley (1921), provided evidence that this system, named then the Enteric Nervous System (ENS) controls coordinated motor functions in isolation from the central nervous system. In addition the intestine receives inputs from the central nervous system via sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and sends sensory information via vagal and spinal afferent neurons. Between the beginning of this century and around twenty years ago the attempts to identify neuroanatomically the different classes of enteric neurons involved in the control of intestinal functions were hampered by the inability of the neurohistological techniques to distinguish specific neuronal groups within the apparently homogeneous maze of nerve cells and nerve fibres which form the ENS.

Keywords

Motor Neuron Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Enteric Nervous System Myenteric Plexus Enteric Neuron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Costa
    • 1
  • S. Brookes
    • 1
  • P. Steele
    • 1
  • J. Vickers
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Neuroscience, Department of PhysiologyThe Flinders University of South AustraliaBedford ParkAustralia

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