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Myenteric Plexus: One of two ganglionated neural networks which together form the ENTERIC NERVOUS SYSTEM. The myenteric (Auerbach's) plexus is located between the longitudinal and circular muscle layers of the gut. Its neurons project to the circular muscle, to other myenteric ganglia, to submucosal ganglia, or directly to the epithelium, and play an important role in regulating and patterning gut motility. (From FASEB J 1989;3:127-38)Choroid Plexus: A villous structure of tangled masses of BLOOD VESSELS contained within the third, lateral, and fourth ventricles of the BRAIN. It regulates part of the production and composition of CEREBROSPINAL FLUID.Submucous Plexus: One of two ganglionated neural networks which together form the enteric nervous system. The submucous (Meissner's) plexus is in the connective tissue of the submucosa. Its neurons innervate the epithelium, blood vessels, endocrine cells, other submucosal ganglia, and myenteric ganglia, and play an important role in regulating ion and water transport. (From FASEB J 1989;3:127-38)Ileum: The distal and narrowest portion of the SMALL INTESTINE, between the JEJUNUM and the ILEOCECAL VALVE of the LARGE INTESTINE.Enteric Nervous System: Two ganglionated neural plexuses in the gut wall which form one of the three major divisions of the autonomic nervous system. The enteric nervous system innervates the gastrointestinal tract, the pancreas, and the gallbladder. It contains sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons. Thus the circuitry can autonomously sense the tension and the chemical environment in the gut and regulate blood vessel tone, motility, secretions, and fluid transport. The system is itself governed by the central nervous system and receives both parasympathetic and sympathetic innervation. (From Kandel, Schwartz, and Jessel, Principles of Neural Science, 3d ed, p766)Brachial Plexus: The large network of nerve fibers which distributes the innervation of the upper extremity. The brachial plexus extends from the neck into the axilla. In humans, the nerves of the plexus usually originate from the lower cervical and the first thoracic spinal cord segments (C5-C8 and T1), but variations are not uncommon.Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.Nitrergic Neurons: Nerve cells where transmission is mediated by NITRIC OXIDE.Gastrointestinal Motility: The motor activity of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT.Interstitial Cells of Cajal: c-Kit positive cells related to SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS that are intercalated between the autonomic nerves and the effector smooth muscle cells of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT. Different phenotypic classes play roles as pacemakers, mediators of neural inputs, and mechanosensors.NADPH Dehydrogenase: A flavoprotein that reversibly oxidizes NADPH to NADP and a reduced acceptor. EC 1.6.99.1.Choline O-Acetyltransferase: An enzyme that catalyzes the formation of acetylcholine from acetyl-CoA and choline. EC 2.3.1.6.Muscle, Smooth: Unstriated and unstriped muscle, one of the muscles of the internal organs, blood vessels, hair follicles, etc. Contractile elements are elongated, usually spindle-shaped cells with centrally located nuclei. Smooth muscle fibers are bound together into sheets or bundles by reticular fibers and frequently elastic nets are also abundant. (From Stedman, 25th ed)Colon: The segment of LARGE INTESTINE between the CECUM and the RECTUM. It includes the ASCENDING COLON; the TRANSVERSE COLON; the DESCENDING COLON; and the SIGMOID COLON.Intestine, Small: The portion of the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT between the PYLORUS of the STOMACH and the ILEOCECAL VALVE of the LARGE INTESTINE. It is divisible into three portions: the DUODENUM, the JEJUNUM, and the ILEUM.Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide: A highly basic, 28 amino acid neuropeptide released from intestinal mucosa. It has a wide range of biological actions affecting the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems and is neuroprotective. It binds special receptors (RECEPTORS, VASOACTIVE INTESTINAL PEPTIDE).Hexamethonium: A nicotinic cholinergic antagonist often referred to as the prototypical ganglionic blocker. It is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and does not cross the blood-brain barrier. It has been used for a variety of therapeutic purposes including hypertension but, like the other ganglionic blockers, it has been replaced by more specific drugs for most purposes, although it is widely used a research tool.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Megacolon: Dilatation of the COLON, often to alarming dimensions. There are various types of megacolon including congenital megacolon in HIRSCHSPRUNG DISEASE, idiopathic megacolon in CONSTIPATION, and TOXIC MEGACOLON.Ganglia: Clusters of multipolar neurons surrounded by a capsule of loosely organized CONNECTIVE TISSUE located outside the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.Colon, Descending: The segment of LARGE INTESTINE between TRANSVERSE COLON and the SIGMOID COLON.Calbindin 2: A calbindin protein that is differentially expressed in distinct populations of NEURONS throughout the vertebrate and invertebrate NERVOUS SYSTEM, and modulates intrinsic neuronal excitability and influences LONG-TERM POTENTIATION. It is also found in LUNG, TESTIS, OVARY, KIDNEY, and BREAST, and is expressed in many tumor types found in these tissues. It is often used as an immunohistochemical marker for MESOTHELIOMA.Choroid Plexus Neoplasms: Benign or malignant tumors which arise from the choroid plexus of the ventricles of the brain. Papillomas (see PAPILLOMA, CHOROID PLEXUS) and carcinomas are the most common histologic subtypes, and tend to seed throughout the ventricular and subarachnoid spaces. Clinical features include headaches, ataxia and alterations of consciousness, primarily resulting from associated HYDROCEPHALUS. (From Devita et al., Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 5th ed, p2072; J Neurosurg 1998 Mar;88(3):521-8)Stomach: An organ of digestion situated in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen between the termination of the ESOPHAGUS and the beginning of the DUODENUM.Calbindins: Calcium-binding proteins that are found in DISTAL KIDNEY TUBULES, INTESTINES, BRAIN, and other tissues where they bind, buffer and transport cytoplasmic calcium. Calbindins possess a variable number of EF-HAND MOTIFS which contain calcium-binding sites. Some isoforms are regulated by VITAMIN D.Substance P: An eleven-amino acid neurotransmitter that appears in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It is involved in transmission of PAIN, causes rapid contractions of the gastrointestinal smooth muscle, and modulates inflammatory and immune responses.Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase: A flavoprotein containing oxidoreductase that catalyzes the reduction of lipoamide by NADH to yield dihydrolipoamide and NAD+. The enzyme is a component of several MULTIENZYME COMPLEXES.Electric Stimulation: Use of electric potential or currents to elicit biological responses.S100 Calcium Binding Protein G: A calbindin protein found in many mammalian tissues, including the UTERUS, PLACENTA, BONE, PITUITARY GLAND, and KIDNEYS. In intestinal ENTEROCYTES it mediates intracellular calcium transport from apical to basolateral membranes via calcium binding at two EF-HAND MOTIFS. Expression is regulated in some tissues by VITAMIN D.Esophageal Achalasia: A motility disorder of the ESOPHAGUS in which the LOWER ESOPHAGEAL SPHINCTER (near the CARDIA) fails to relax resulting in functional obstruction of the esophagus, and DYSPHAGIA. Achalasia is characterized by a grossly contorted and dilated esophagus (megaesophagus).Acetylcholine: A neurotransmitter found at neuromuscular junctions, autonomic ganglia, parasympathetic effector junctions, a subset of sympathetic effector junctions, and at many sites in the central nervous system.Celiac Plexus: A complex network of nerve fibers including sympathetic and parasympathetic efferents and visceral afferents. The celiac plexus is the largest of the autonomic plexuses and is located in the abdomen surrounding the celiac and superior mesenteric arteries.Lumbosacral Plexus: The lumbar and sacral plexuses taken together. The fibers of the lumbosacral plexus originate in the lumbar and upper sacral spinal cord (L1 to S3) and innervate the lower extremities.Cervical Plexus: A network of nerve fibers originating in the upper four CERVICAL SPINAL CORD segments. The cervical plexus distributes cutaneous nerves to parts of the neck, shoulders, and back of the head. It also distributes motor fibers to muscles of the cervical SPINAL COLUMN, infrahyoid muscles, and the DIAPHRAGM.Tetrodotoxin: An aminoperhydroquinazoline poison found mainly in the liver and ovaries of fishes in the order TETRAODONTIFORMES, which are eaten. The toxin causes paresthesia and paralysis through interference with neuromuscular conduction.Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction: A type of ILEUS, a functional not mechanical obstruction of the INTESTINES. This syndrome is caused by a large number of disorders involving the smooth muscles (MUSCLE, SMOOTH) or the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Jejunum: The middle portion of the SMALL INTESTINE, between DUODENUM and ILEUM. It represents about 2/5 of the remaining portion of the small intestine below duodenum.Dimethylphenylpiperazinium Iodide: A selective nicotinic cholinergic agonist used as a research tool. DMPP activates nicotinic receptors in autonomic ganglia but has little effect at the neuromuscular junction.Morphinans: Compounds based on a partially saturated iminoethanophenanthrene, which can be described as ethylimino-bridged benzo-decahydronaphthalenes. They include some of the OPIOIDS found in PAPAVER that are used as ANALGESICS.Atropine: An alkaloid, originally from Atropa belladonna, but found in other plants, mainly SOLANACEAE. Hyoscyamine is the 3(S)-endo isomer of atropine.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Ganglia, Autonomic: Clusters of neurons and their processes in the autonomic nervous system. In the autonomic ganglia, the preganglionic fibers from the central nervous system synapse onto the neurons whose axons are the postganglionic fibers innervating target organs. The ganglia also contain intrinsic neurons and supporting cells and preganglionic fibers passing through to other ganglia.Naloxone: A specific opiate antagonist that has no agonist activity. It is a competitive antagonist at mu, delta, and kappa opioid receptors.Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT4: A subtype of G-protein-coupled SEROTONIN receptors that preferentially couple to GS STIMULATORY G-PROTEINS resulting in increased intracellular CYCLIC AMP. Several isoforms of the receptor exist due to ALTERNATIVE SPLICING of its mRNA.Muscle Contraction: A process leading to shortening and/or development of tension in muscle tissue. Muscle contraction occurs by a sliding filament mechanism whereby actin filaments slide inward among the myosin filaments.Enkephalin, Methionine: One of the endogenous pentapeptides with morphine-like activity. It differs from LEU-ENKEPHALIN by the amino acid METHIONINE in position 5. Its first four amino acid sequence is identical to the tetrapeptide sequence at the N-terminal of BETA-ENDORPHIN.Serotonin 5-HT4 Receptor Agonists: Endogenous compounds and drugs that specifically stimulate SEROTONIN 5-HT4 RECEPTORS.Esophagus: The muscular membranous segment between the PHARYNX and the STOMACH in the UPPER GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT.Serotonin: A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid L-TRYPTOPHAN. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Multiple receptor families (RECEPTORS, SEROTONIN) explain the broad physiological actions and distribution of this biochemical mediator.Nitric Oxide Synthase Type I: A CALCIUM-dependent, constitutively-expressed form of nitric oxide synthase found primarily in NERVE TISSUE.Pyloric Antrum: The region between the sharp indentation at the lower third of the STOMACH (incisura angularis) and the junction of the PYLORUS with the DUODENUM. Pyloric antral glands contain mucus-secreting cells and gastrin-secreting endocrine cells (G CELLS).Pyloric Stenosis: Narrowing of the pyloric canal with varied etiology. A common form is due to muscle hypertrophy (PYLORIC STENOSIS, HYPERTROPHIC) seen in infants.Receptors, Opioid: Cell membrane proteins that bind opioids and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. The endogenous ligands for opioid receptors in mammals include three families of peptides, the enkephalins, endorphins, and dynorphins. The receptor classes include mu, delta, and kappa receptors. Sigma receptors bind several psychoactive substances, including certain opioids, but their endogenous ligands are not known.Vagus Nerve: The 10th cranial nerve. The vagus is a mixed nerve which contains somatic afferents (from skin in back of the ear and the external auditory meatus), visceral afferents (from the pharynx, larynx, thorax, and abdomen), parasympathetic efferents (to the thorax and abdomen), and efferents to striated muscle (of the larynx and pharynx).Hexamethonium Compounds: Compounds containing the hexamethylenebis(trimethylammonium) cation. Members of this group frequently act as antihypertensive agents and selective ganglionic blocking agents.Ubiquitin Thiolesterase: A thioester hydrolase which acts on esters formed between thiols such as DITHIOTHREITOL or GLUTATHIONE and the C-terminal glycine residue of UBIQUITIN.Hirschsprung Disease: Congenital MEGACOLON resulting from the absence of ganglion cells (aganglionosis) in a distal segment of the LARGE INTESTINE. The aganglionic segment is permanently contracted thus causing dilatation proximal to it. In most cases, the aganglionic segment is within the RECTUM and SIGMOID COLON.Digestive System: A group of organs stretching from the MOUTH to the ANUS, serving to breakdown foods, assimilate nutrients, and eliminate waste. In humans, the digestive system includes the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT and the accessory glands (LIVER; BILIARY TRACT; PANCREAS).Peristalsis: A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction.Intestines: The section of the alimentary canal from the STOMACH to the ANAL CANAL. It includes the LARGE INTESTINE and SMALL INTESTINE.Parasympatholytics: Agents that inhibit the actions of the parasympathetic nervous system. The major group of drugs used therapeutically for this purpose is the MUSCARINIC ANTAGONISTS.Gastric Fundus: The superior portion of the body of the stomach above the level of the cardiac notch.Nitric Oxide Synthase: An NADPH-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of L-ARGININE and OXYGEN to produce CITRULLINE and NITRIC OXIDE.Papilloma, Choroid Plexus: A usually benign neoplasm that arises from the cuboidal epithelium of the choroid plexus and takes the form of an enlarged CHOROID PLEXUS, which may be associated with oversecretion of CSF. The tumor usually presents in the first decade of life with signs of increased intracranial pressure including HEADACHES; ATAXIA; DIPLOPIA; and alterations of mental status. In children it is most common in the lateral ventricles and in adults it tends to arise in the fourth ventricle. Malignant transformation to choroid plexus carcinomas may rarely occur. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p667; DeVita et al., Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 5th ed, p2072)Gastrointestinal Tract: Generally refers to the digestive structures stretching from the MOUTH to ANUS, but does not include the accessory glandular organs (LIVER; BILIARY TRACT; PANCREAS).Duodenum: The shortest and widest portion of the SMALL INTESTINE adjacent to the PYLORUS of the STOMACH. It is named for having the length equal to about the width of 12 fingers.Narcotic Antagonists: Agents inhibiting the effect of narcotics on the central nervous system.Pylorus: The region of the STOMACH at the junction with the DUODENUM. It is marked by the thickening of circular muscle layers forming the pyloric sphincter to control the opening and closure of the lumen.Intestinal Mucosa: Lining of the INTESTINES, consisting of an inner EPITHELIUM, a middle LAMINA PROPRIA, and an outer MUSCULARIS MUCOSAE. In the SMALL INTESTINE, the mucosa is characterized by a series of folds and abundance of absorptive cells (ENTEROCYTES) with MICROVILLI.Synaptic Transmission: The communication from a NEURON to a target (neuron, muscle, or secretory cell) across a SYNAPSE. In chemical synaptic transmission, the presynaptic neuron releases a NEUROTRANSMITTER that diffuses across the synaptic cleft and binds to specific synaptic receptors, activating them. The activated receptors modulate specific ion channels and/or second-messenger systems in the postsynaptic cell. In electrical synaptic transmission, electrical signals are communicated as an ionic current flow across ELECTRICAL SYNAPSES.Quinacrine: An acridine derivative formerly widely used as an antimalarial but superseded by chloroquine in recent years. It has also been used as an anthelmintic and in the treatment of giardiasis and malignant effusions. It is used in cell biological experiments as an inhibitor of phospholipase A2.Action Potentials: Abrupt changes in the membrane potential that sweep along the CELL MEMBRANE of excitable cells in response to excitation stimuli.Ganglionic Blockers: Agents having as their major action the interruption of neural transmission at nicotinic receptors on postganglionic autonomic neurons. Because their actions are so broad, including blocking of sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, their therapeutic use has been largely supplanted by more specific drugs. They may still be used in the control of blood pressure in patients with acute dissecting aortic aneurysm and for the induction of hypotension in surgery.Morphine: The principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic. Morphine has widespread effects in the central nervous system and on smooth muscle.Parasympathetic Nervous System: The craniosacral division of the autonomic nervous system. The cell bodies of the parasympathetic preganglionic fibers are in brain stem nuclei and in the sacral spinal cord. They synapse in cranial autonomic ganglia or in terminal ganglia near target organs. The parasympathetic nervous system generally acts to conserve resources and restore homeostasis, often with effects reciprocal to the sympathetic nervous system.Electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.Hypogastric Plexus: A complex network of nerve fibers in the pelvic region. The hypogastric plexus distributes sympathetic fibers from the lumbar paravertebral ganglia and the aortic plexus, parasympathetic fibers from the pelvic nerve, and visceral afferents. The bilateral pelvic plexus is in its lateral extent.Rectum: The distal segment of the LARGE INTESTINE, between the SIGMOID COLON and the ANAL CANAL.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit: A protein-tyrosine kinase receptor that is specific for STEM CELL FACTOR. This interaction is crucial for the development of hematopoietic, gonadal, and pigment stem cells. Genetic mutations that disrupt the expression of PROTO-ONCOGENE PROTEINS C-KIT are associated with PIEBALDISM, while overexpression or constitutive activation of the c-kit protein-tyrosine kinase is associated with tumorigenesis.Scopolamine Hydrobromide: An alkaloid from SOLANACEAE, especially DATURA and SCOPOLIA. Scopolamine and its quaternary derivatives act as antimuscarinics like ATROPINE, but may have more central nervous system effects. Among the many uses are as an anesthetic premedication, in URINARY INCONTINENCE, in MOTION SICKNESS, as an antispasmodic, and as a mydriatic and cycloplegic.Protein Deficiency: A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of proteins in the diet, characterized by adaptive enzyme changes in the liver, increase in amino acid synthetases, and diminution of urea formation, thus conserving nitrogen and reducing its loss in the urine. Growth, immune response, repair, and production of enzymes and hormones are all impaired in severe protein deficiency. Protein deficiency may also arise in the face of adequate protein intake if the protein is of poor quality (i.e., the content of one or more amino acids is inadequate and thus becomes the limiting factor in protein utilization). (From Merck Manual, 16th ed; Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 12th ed, p406)Piperidines: A family of hexahydropyridines.