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Enteric co-innervation of striated muscle in the esophagus: still enigmatic?

Authors
  • Neuhuber, Winfried L1
  • Wörl, Jürgen2
  • 1 Institut für Anatomie I, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Krankenhausstraße 9, 91054, Erlangen, Germany. [email protected] , (Germany)
  • 2 Institut für Anatomie I, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Krankenhausstraße 9, 91054, Erlangen, Germany. , (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Histochemistry and cell biology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2016
Volume
146
Issue
6
Pages
721–735
Identifiers
PMID: 27678007
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The existence of a distinct ganglionated myenteric plexus between the two layers of the striated tunica muscularis of the mammalian esophagus has represented an enigma for quite a while. Although an enteric co-innervation of vagally innervated motor endplates in the esophagus has been suggested repeatedly, it was not possible until recently to demonstrate this dual innervation. Twenty-two years ago, we were able to demonstrate that motor endplates in the rat esophagus receive dual innervation from both vagal nerve fibers originating in the brain stem and from varicose enteric nerve fibers originating in the myenteric plexus. Meanwhile, a considerable amount of data has been gathered on enteric co-innervation and its occurrence in the esophagus of a variety of species including humans, its neurochemistry, spatial relationships on motor endplates, ontogeny and possible functional roles. These data underline the significance of this newly discovered innervation component, although its function in vivo is still largely unknown. The aim of this review, which is an update of our previous paper (Wörl and Neuhuber in Histochem Cell Biol 123(2):117-130. doi: 10.1007/s00418-005-0764-7 , 2005a), is to summarize the current knowledge about enteric co-innervation of esophageal striated muscle and to provide some hints as to its functional significance.

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