Colon nontumor
Normal physiology

Topic Completed: 1 May 2013

Revised: 7 January 2019, last major update May 2013

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

PubMed Search: physiology[title]colon

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
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Cite this page: Gulwani H. Normal physiology. website. Accessed December 10th, 2019.
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
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