Document Detail

Intestine: organ or apparatus?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18431057     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It is well known that human intestine is involved in different important functions. First of all, it is responsible for digestion and absorption of nutrients, electrolytes, water, bile salts and drugs, but it also has immunologic, endocrine and motor functions. Moreover, intestinal microflora, composed by a large diversity of bacterial cells, provides several beneficial functions for the host and is, nowadays, defined by many authors as an organ itself. In consideration of intestine complexity, we tried to understand if it can be considered only an organ or if it is an apparatus itself. We have analyzed the different components and their relationships, showing that a continuous collaboration is required among enterocytes, endocrine intestinal cells, gut immune system and microflora to assure an efficient mechanism of defense. In consideration of the complexity of intestinal components, together with the emergent role of microflora, we think that we could start to consider gut as a real apparatus, and not only as an organ.
Giovanni Gasbarrini; Massimo Montalto; Luca Santoro; Valentina Curigliano; Ferruccio D'Onofrio; Antonella Gallo; Dina Visca; Antonio Gasbarrini
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2008-04-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Digestive diseases (Basel, Switzerland)     Volume:  26     ISSN:  1421-9875     ISO Abbreviation:  Dig Dis     Publication Date:  2008  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-04-23     Completed Date:  2008-06-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8701186     Medline TA:  Dig Dis     Country:  Switzerland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  92-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Institute of Internal Medicine, Catholic University, Rome, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Intestinal Absorption / physiology
Intestines / immunology,  microbiology,  physiology*

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