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Encyclopedia > Enteric nervous system

The enteric nervous system (ENS) is an interdependent part of the autonomic nervous system. Despite its many interactions with other parts of the ANS, it can be regarded as a nerval body of its own. Its functioning is still subject to research in neurogastroenterology. It has as many as 1 billion neurons, one hundredth of the number of neurons in the brain. The ENS is comprised of two layers. One is the myenteric plexus that lies between the layers of circular and longitudinal muscle lining the gut wall and the second is the submucosal plexus that is found between the layer of circular muscle and the submucosa. // Anatomy and Physiology of the A.N.S. In contrast to the voluntary nervous system, the involuntary or autonomic nervous system is responsible for homeostasis, maintaining a relatively constant internal environment by controlling such involuntary functions as digestion, respiration, perspiration, and metabolism, and by modulating blood pressure. ... Neurogastroenterology is a research area in the field of Gastroenterology which regards interactions of the central nervous system (brain) and the gut - the so-called brain-gut axis. ... In the anatomy of animals, the brain, or encephalon, is the supervisory center of the nervous system. ...


Sources

  • The book The Second Brain by Dr. Michael D. Gershon
  • New York Times The Other Brain Also Deals With Many Woes "The role of the enteric nervous system is to manage every aspect of digestion, from the esophagus to the stomach, small intestine and colon. The second brain, or little brain, accomplishes all that with the same tools as the big brain, a sophisticated nearly self-contained network of neural circuitry, neurotransmitters and proteins."

  Results from FactBites:
 
Annette Kirchgessner (390 words)
Pancreatic ganglia are similar to enteric ganglia, and are the primary target of the enteric innervation.
When enteric neurons are stimulated, neurons in pancreatic ganglia, as well as the islet and acinar cells they innervate, are activated.
Enteric neurons immunoselected with antibodies to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (mab35) Receptor immunoreactivity (red) is differentially localized in enteric motorneurons (arrow) and putative primary afferent neurons identified by calbindin immunoreactivity (green).
Autonomic nervous system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2972 words)
Anatomy and Physiology of the A.N.S. In contrast to the voluntary nervous system, the "involuntary" or autonomic nervous system is responsible for homeostasis, maintaining a relatively constant internal environment by controlling such involuntary functions as digestion, respiration, perspiration, metabolism and modulating blood pressure.
The autonomic nervous system is divided into two subsystems, the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems, which work in tandem, either in a synergistic or an antagonistic way.
The peripheral portion of the sympathetic nervous system is characterized by the presence of numerous ganglionganglia and complicated plexuses.
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