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How many kinds of visceral afferents?
  1. M Costa,
  2. S H J Brookes,
  3. V Zagorodnyuk
  1. Department of Physiology and Centre of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor M Costa
    Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Flinders University, PO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, SA, Australia;


Most afferent signals from the viscera do not give rise to conscious experience and yet they participate in the complex neural control of visceral functions. Surprisingly little information is available on the origin, morphology, and receptor functional characteristics of the nerve endings of most primary afferent neurones to the digestive tract. This review deals with the morphological nature of the afferent neurones that supply the gastrointestinal tract specifically.

  • functional disorders
  • visceral afferents
  • visceral afferent mechanisms
  • sensitisation
  • IPANs, intrinsic primary afferent neurones
  • EPANs, extrinsic primary afferent neurones
  • IGLEs, intraganglionic laminar endings
  • CGRP, calcitonin gene related peptide
  • IMA, intramuscular array
  • SP, substance P
  • CNS, central nervous system

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