Origin of automaticity and neural regulation of peristalsis in the gastrointestinal tract of Aplysia and Lymnaea. Short communication.
We examined whether the enteric nervous system (ENS) is capable of controlling autonomous peristalsis, which occurs in the crop of Aplysia as well as in the esophagus of Lymnaea. Interestingly, "pacemaker neurons", which lead peristaltic rhythm, were found in the gizzard in Aplysia and in the crop in Lymnaea; both of these structures are located distal to the regions exhibiting peristalsis. Thus, the bursting activity of the ENS first occurred in lower regions and then progressed in an ascending direction (i.e. in the opposite direction of peristalsis). The two species are thought to differ in terms of the mechanisms involved in producing peristalsis.