Intestinal peristalsis: A Mammalian Motor Pattern Controlled by Enteric Neural Circuits

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    The propulsion of the intestinal content is essential for the appropriate progression and digestion of food. Since the turn of the century Bayliss and Starling suggested that intestinal propulsion (peristalsis) is due to the activity of neural circuits embedded within the intestinal wall. 1 They described contraction of the circular muscle on the oral side and inhibition on the aboral side of a mechanical stimulus. This has come to be known as “the law of the intestine.” They proposed that the polarized reflexes are responsible for peristalsis. The identification of the neurons involved in these polarized reflex pathways has been achieved only recently. Here we summarize the recent contributions from our laboratory to the identification of the enteric circuits involved in peristalsis and their role in the generation of motor patterns in the guinea‐pig small intestine.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)464-466
    Number of pages3
    JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


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