FIGURE 1 | The innervation of the gastrointestinal tract.

From the following article:

The enteric nervous system and neurogastroenterology

John B. Furness

Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 9, 286-294 (May 2012)


The enteric nervous system and neurogastroenterology

The neural connections between the ENS and CNS, and neural connections between gastrointestinal organs, are quite different from those depicted in textbooks. The digestive system contains full reflex circuits of the ENS (motor neurons and interneurons in blue, sensory neurons in purple). Pathways from the gastrointestinal tract project outwards, via intestinofugal neurons (red), to the CNS (neurons in yellow), sympathetic ganglia, gallbladder and pancreas. Neurons in sympathetic prevertebral ganglia (green) receive both CNS and ENS inputs. Sensory information goes both to the ENS, via intrinsic primary afferent (sensory) neurons (purple) and to the CNS via extrinsic primary afferent neurons (also purple) that follow spinal and vagal afferent routes. Pathways from the CNS reach the ENS and gastrointestinal effector tissues through vagal, sympathetic and pelvic pathways. Abbreviations: CNS, central nervous system; ENS, enteric nervous system.

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