ISSN 0371-0874, CN 31-1352/Q

Online First

Extraordinary Characteristics of Second Brain-Enteric Nervous System

LI Jun-Hua1,DUAN Rui1, LI Liang5, WOOD Jackie D3, WANG Xi-Yu1,3,4, SHU Yousheng2, and WANG Guo-Du 1,3,4

1. Department of Gastroenterology, Jingmen First Hospital, Hubei 448000, China;2.Institute for translational brain research, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032,China; 3.Department of Physiology and Cell Biology,The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA; 4. Institute of Brain-ENS and Disease Research, West Chester 45069, USA; 5. State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China


Enteric nervous system (ENS) is consisted of intestinal submucosal and myenteric plexuses. ENS controls and regulates independently intestinal digestive and absorptive functionso it is also known as second brain or gut brain. ENS has significant specificity relative to central nervous system (CNS) in properties and functional activity of neurons and neural circuits. ENS and CNS affect emotion, appetite and behavioral states of individuals through the feedback pathway (brain-gut-axi) of sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves and peripheral primary sensory afferent. Gastrointestinal functional disorder (GIFD) induced by ENS dysfunction would lead to visceral pain and bad emotion and even abnormal behavior, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). GIFD would influence deeply the quality of life of patients. Nevertheless, in the worldwide, ENS receives much less attention as compared with CNS. The depth of research and scale of investment in ENS studies have been much lower than in CNS. The situation in China is even more. From ENS research history, a outstanding problem is to ignoring largely the unique properties of ENS and applying mechanically the hypotheses formed in CNS studies to ENS researches. In this review, the structure and function of ENS are briefly introduced, and importance of extraordinary characteristics of ENS are illustrated by the problems encountered in   our studies. We hope the more basic and clinic researchers will deepen the understanding of the uniqueness of ENS to promote the favourable development of researches on ENS and related diseases.

Key words: Acetylcholine; ; ; ;

Received: 2019-09-26  Accepted: 2020-01-02

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