Functional Relationship Between the Gut and Other Tissues/Organs of the Body

  • Menizibeya Osain WelcomeEmail author


The enteral system provides a pivotal functional connectivity with other organs and tissues of the body, referred to as gut–extraenteric tissue axis. This functional relationship regulates several functions of the body including higher mental (memory, cognition), cardiac, renal, pulmonary, hepatic, pancreatic functions. Examples of such relationship include gut–brain (enterocerebral) axis, gut–liver (enterohepatic) axis, gut–pancreas (enteropancreatic) axis, gut–liver–pancreas (enterohepatopancreatic/enteropancreatohepatic) axis or triangle, gut–heart (enterocardiac) axis, gut–kidney (enterorenal, enteronephric) axis, gut–lung (enteropulmonary) axis, gut–bone (entero-osseous) axis, gut–skin (enterocutaneous) axis, and gut–brain–skin (enterocerebrocutaneous) triangle. Other axes (usually referred to as systems) include hepatobiliary, pancreatobiliary, and pancreatohepatobiliary systems. These axes, triangles, and systems play a crucial role in the maintenance of homeostasis not only in the GI tract, but also in extraenteric tissues/organs. It is important to note that apart from the functional relationship, some of these axes, triangles, and systems are structurally connected to the gut. This chapter is concerned with this functional and structural connectivity.


Gut–liver (enterohepatic) axis Gut–brain (enterocerebral) axis Gut–pancreas (enteropancreatic) axis Gut–liver-pancreas (enterohepatopancreatic/enteropancreatohepatic) axis or triangle Gut–heart (enterocardiac) axis Gut–bone (entero-osseous) axis Gut–kidney (enterorenal, enteronephric) axis Gut–lung (enteropulmonary) axis Gut–skin (enterocutaneous) axis Gut–brain–skin (enterocerebrocutaneous) triangle Hepatobiliary Pancreatobiliary Pancreatohepatobiliary system Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth 



Cyclic adenosine monophosphate




Cyclic guanosine monophosphate


Guanosine diphosphate




Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide/gastro-inhibitory polypeptide


Glucagon-like peptide 1


G protein-coupled receptor


Insulin-like growth factor-1




Pancreatic polypeptide


Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Faculty of Basic Medical SciencesCollege of Health Sciences, Nile University of NigeriaFCT-AbujaNigeria

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