Colonic Physiology

  • Joshua I. S. BleierEmail author
  • Kirsten Bass Wilkins


While the primary role of the colon is to absorb excess water and create solid stool, it also plays a critical role in electrolyte homeostasis and immunity. The chapter will serve to illustrate the basic tenets in colonic embryology as well as define the histology of the colon and the specialized role its various cell types play in fluid regulation, immunity, and the enteric nervous system. The role of commensal bacteria in the colon will also be discussed. The functional and clinical aspects of colonic motility will also be delineated.


Colon physiology Colonic epithelium Enteric nervous system Electrolyte Interstitial cells of Cajal Butyrate Myenteric plexus Auerbach’s plexus Meissner’s plexus Colonic motility 

Copyright information

© ASCRS (American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical SurgeryUniversity of Pennsylvania Health System, Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryHospital of the University of Pennsylvania/Pennsylvania HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryRWJ Barnabas HealthEdisonUSA

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