A Personal Perspective on the Development of Our Understanding of the Myogenic Control Mechanisms of Gut Motor Function
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Myogenic control mechanisms play a role in all motor activities of the gut. Myogenic control systems are defined here as control systems that are intrinsic to the smooth muscle cells and/or interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) and that can operate without an essential contribution of the intrinsic (ENS) and extrinsic nervous systems. In vivo however, the ENS and the myogenic control systems always work in cooperation. Although myogenic control plays a role in every gut organ, this review focuses on the peristaltic and segmentation activity of the small intestine. It provides some historical perspectives and some discussion on the development of our understanding of the cooperative nature of the myogenic and neurogenic control mechanisms. It highlights how some influential papers inadvertently provided hindrance to full understanding, it discusses how the guinea pig model has hampered acceptance of myogenic control systems and it provides some background into the genesis of our understanding of control mechanisms involving ICC.
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