Colon non tumor
Normal physiology

Author: Hanni Gulwani, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 13 December 2016, last major update May 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: physiology[title]colon
Cite this page: Normal physiology. website. Accessed June 19th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Reclaims water and electrolytes

Intestinal immune system:
  • Composed of Peyer's patches in ileum, M cells (membranous) in small intestine and colon (transfer antigen macromolecules from lumen to lymphocytes, T cells, B cells), mucosal associated lymphoid tissue (lymphoid nodules, mucosal lymphocytes, appendix lymphoid follicles and mesenteric nodes, Front Immunol 2012;3:329, Ann N Y Acad Sci 2010;1207:E86)

Neuromuscular function:
  • Anterograde and retrograde peristalsis mixes food, promotes maximal contact of nutrients with mucosa
  • Colonic peristalsis prolongs contact with mucosa
  • Peristalsis mediated via enteric nervous system, smooth muscle layers, interstitial cells of Cajal
  • Gut innervation has complex 3D structure

Diagrams / tables

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Activation of B cells and germinal
center formation in Peyer's patches

Intestinal mucosal immune responses
to enteric bacterial antigens