enteric nervous system
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Related to enteric nervous system: vagus nerve
enteric nervous system,
A division of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) arising from its own line of neural crest cells and composed of the tens of millions of neurons and their supporting cells inside the walls of the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and gallbladder. Although the enteric nervous system is innervated (and modulated) by sympathetic and parasympathetic axons from the other divisions of the ANS, the enteric nervous system also acts independently. Reflex activities (e.g., maintaining gut wall tension and producing peristalsis) are initiated and coordinated via networks entirely inside the gut walls and organized via complex intrinsic ganglionated neural networks of two kinds: Auerbach's plexus and the submucous (Meissner's and Henle's) plexus lying between the circular and muscularis mucosae muscle layers.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
enteric nervous systemA collection of neurons in the intestine that can function independently of the central nervous system and has been described as the ‘brain of the gut’. This system is responsible for intestinal motility including PERISTALSIS, the secretory function of the intestine, the control of blood flow in the intestinal wall and the regulation of intestinal immune and inflammatory reactions.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005