Changes in enteric neural circuitry and smooth muscle in the inflamed and infected gut
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Much of the morbidity associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and infection is caused by disordered gastrointestinal motor and secretory functions. Given that intestinal smooth muscle tone and epithelial cell secretion are regulated by the enteric nervous system (ENS), it is quite likely that inflammation-induced changes in the enteric neural circuitry contribute to intestinal dysmotility and diarrhoea. Indeed, discoveries over the past decades have demonstrated that gut inflammation and infections are associated with changes in key elements all along the enteric neural circuitry from the sensory transducers, the enterochromaffin (EC) cells, to the terminals of motor neurones.
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