Two muscles in the intestines transmit and combine foods that are injected, and among them is an autonomic network of neurons known as the "second brain".
Studying the development of a movement related to digestion in chick embryos, a team of researchers from the CNRS and the University of Paris discovered that neurons control muscle contractions involved in digestion.
The first movements in the intestines are purely muscular, but researchers have discovered that when activated, the intestinal nervous system coordinates these two muscles: when the first assemble to push the food through the stomach, neurons deformed by this movement, direct the other muscle to relax and open passage.
The study of these reflexes in the embryonic stage enables further insight into the functioning of these organs and can be under the influence of the disease.
Nicolas R. Chevalier et al., Embryogenesis of Peristaltic Reflex, The Journal of Phisiology (2019). DOI: 10.1113 / JP277746