Mechanical and chemical stimulation of the gastrointestinal mucosa exerts negative and positive feedback regulation of secretory and motor function of the gastrointestinal tract. The vagus nerve is a key component of the afferent pathway between the gut and the brain. Vagal afferent discharge is activated by the macronutrient content of the gut lumen resulting in reflex changes in gastrointestinal function and inhibition of food intake. In the small intestine, the importance of these regulatory mechanisms is to match the digestive and absorptive capacity of the intestine with the entry of nutrients from the stomach and to modify food intake. Intestinal perfusions of all of the different macronutrient groups (protein/amino acids, carbohydrates and fats) initiate intestinal feedback inhibition of gastric function and food intake. In this short review, we will present some of our recent findings on the mechanisms by which macronutrients activate reflexes within the wall of the gut.
- Free fatty acids
- Vagal afferents
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems