The Myenteric plexus is an arrangement of nerve fibers and neuron cells that are situated within the muscular tissue layer. This layer encloses the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Myenteric Plexus is also known as ‘Auerbach's plexus’. It is named after its inventor Leopold Auerbach who is a German anatomist. A plexus is a part of the nervous system. The plexus is an essential constituent of the whole digestive tract system. Myenteric Plexus plays a major role in passing food through the digestive tract in order to process it through the metabolic action. Even though some people believe that there are several myenteric plexus present, there is only one Myenteric plexus in reality.
Basically, Myenteric plexus is a system of nerves that are flanked by the circular and longitudinal layers of the muscular digestive tract. Myenteric Plexus is a segment of the enteric nervous system. The enteric nervous system (ENS) in vertebrates is a part of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) that handles the gastrointestinal system. Myenteric plexus is found between the layers of muscularis externa that are found in the gastrointestinal tract. The muscularis externa includes an inner circular muscular coating and an outer longitudinal muscular coating. The circular coating stops the food from going backward and the longitudinal coating shortens the digestive tract. The synchronized contraction of these layers is called ‘peristalsis’. This action pushes the food through the gastrointestinal tract. The myenteric or Auerbach's plexus is present in between the two muscle layers. Myenteric Plexus originates from the tenth cranial nerve cells which are the vagal nerves found in the medulla oblongata.
Generally, ENS is also known as the “second brain”. The ENS holds approximately hundred million neurons. The Enteric nervous system is fixed in the gastrointestinal system coating. A ganglion is a biological tissue mass of nerve cell bodies. Cells that exist in a ganglion are 'ganglion You do not have access to view this node'. The ENS neurons are divided into two groups of ganglia:
Submucosal plexus is situated in the submucosa which is a layer of thick uneven connective tissue that supports the mucus membranes.
A condition called 'Achalasia' may arise when there is a significant decrease in ganglion cell concentration in Myenteric plexus. Achalasia is an uncommon disease of the esophagus muscle which is essentially the swallowing tube. The term achalasia means "failure to relax" and it indicates the failure of the inferior esophageal sphincter (a loop of muscle that is sandwiched between the lower esophagus and the stomach to open and allow the food to bypass the stomach). Consequently, patients with achalasia have complexity in swallowing food. This condition is known as ‘Esophageal achalasia’. Several screening tests such as imaging studies are being done to gain additional knowledge about the source of achalasia.
The common symptom of achalasia is difficulty in swallowing also known as ‘Dysphagia’. Patients may experience a feeling of food sticking in their chest after the food is been swallowed. Dysphagia happens with both solid and liquid food. Dysphagia occurs almost in every meal.
The actual cause of achalasia is unidentified. Some believe that some kind of infection, genetics or an abnormality of the immune system may cause damage to the esophagus which leads to Achalasia.
Treatments for achalasia may include:
These four treatments diminish the pressure inside the lower esophageal sphincter which may permit effortless passage of food from the esophagus into the stomach.
Submucosal neurons and dilation of arteriolesis are triggered by rousing the Myenteric plexus. This is one among the several other ways through which the motility (capacity to move impulsively and autonomously) and blood flow or secretion can be combined as one. The current study targets on investigating whether the myenteric neurons get the synaptic input from the submucosal plexus (SMP). Intracellular footages were performed from guinea-pig ileal myenteric neurons whilst the SMP was electrically roused. The fundamental concept is that the Myenteric plexus manages motility whereas the submucosal plexus (SMP) manages secretion and vaso dilation. It is assumed that the relationship between the motility and secretion/blood ?ow may be due to correspondence between the submucosal plexus and Myenteric plexus.