5-Hydroxytryptaminergic neurotransmission in the gut

  • Michael D. Gershon
  • Gary M. Mawe
  • Theresa A. Branchek
Part of the Developments in CardioCardiovascular Pharmacology of 5-Hydroxytryptamine book series (DICM, volume 106)


The enteric nervous system (ENS) is quite different in structure, complexity, organization, and function from other divisions of the autonomic nervous system (for reviews see [1–3]). Unlike the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions, most enteric neurons receive no direct innervation from the central nervous system (CNS). Despite this relative lack of input from the CNS, the ENS can mediate reflex activity. To have this capability, the ENS must contain intrinsic primary afferent neurons, a variety of interneurons, and motor neurons. Thus, enteric ganglia cannot be considered to be simple relays. In addition, like the CNS, the ENS has many different types of neuron, defined either by established or putative neurotransmitter content or by shape. This complexity must be borne in mind when interpreting the effects of neuroactive compounds on the gastrointestinal tract.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Gershon
  • Gary M. Mawe
  • Theresa A. Branchek

There are no affiliations available

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