Journal article

NONRUMINANT NUTRITION SYMPOSIUM: Involvement of gut neural and endocrine systems in pathological disorders of the digestive tract

JB Furness, DP Poole



The functioning of the gastrointestinal tract is under the control of the most extensive system of peripheral neurons in the body, the enteric nervous system, and the largest endocrine system of the body, the GEP endocrine system. The enteric nervous system in large mammals contains 500 million neurons, and the GEP endocrine system produces more than 30 hormones. Numerous enteric neuropathies affecting both humans and animals have been described and digestive disorders affect commercially important species, such as horses and cattle. The most severe enteric neuropathies (e.g., lethal white syndrome in horses or Hirschsprung's disease in humans) can be fatal. Also, horses with ileus or other ..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Based on a presentation at the Nonruminant Nutrition Symposium, "Nutrient and neuroendocrine regulation of gastrointestinal function," at the Joint Annual Meeting, July 10 to 14, 2011, New Orleans, Louisiana. The symposium was sponsored, in part, by Pancosma SA (Geneva, Switzerland) and EAAP (European Federation of Animal Science, Rome, Italy), with publication sponsored by Journal of Animal Science and the American Society of Animal Science.Work from the authors' laboratories was supported by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) and the Australian Research Council. We thank Hyun-Jung Cho (Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia) for assistance with the figures.