Digestive System > Small Intestine

Small Intestinal Motility

Coordinated contractions of smooth muscle participate in several ways to facilitate digestion and absorption in the small intestine:

In most animals, the small intestine cycles through two states, each of which is associated with distinctive patterns of motility:

Motility in the small intestine, as in all parts of the digestive tube, is controlled predominantly by excitatatory and inhibitory signals from the enteric nervous system. These local nervous signals are however modulated by inputs from the central nervous system, and a number of gastrointestinal hormones appear to affect intestinal motility to some degree.

Transport Across the Intestinal Epithelium

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