Stomach
Overview
The stomach is a muscular
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

, hollow, dilated part of the alimentary canal which functions as an important organ
Organ (anatomy)
In biology, an organ is a collection of tissues joined in structural unit to serve a common function. Usually there is a main tissue and sporadic tissues . The main tissue is the one that is unique for the specific organ. For example, main tissue in the heart is the myocardium, while sporadic are...

 of the digestive tract in some animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s, including vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s, echinoderm
Echinoderm
Echinoderms are a phylum of marine animals. Echinoderms are found at every ocean depth, from the intertidal zone to the abyssal zone....

s, insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s (mid-gut), and molluscs. It is involved in the second phase of digestion
Digestion
Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into a blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism: a breakdown of large food molecules to smaller ones....

, following mastication
Mastication
Mastication or chewing is the process by which food is crushed and ground by teeth. It is the first step of digestion and it increases the surface area of foods to allow more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the food is positioned between the teeth for grinding by...

 (chewing).

The stomach is located between the esophagus
Esophagus
The esophagus is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing, food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels via peristalsis to the stomach...

 and the small intestine
Small intestine
The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract following the stomach and followed by the large intestine, and is where much of the digestion and absorption of food takes place. In invertebrates such as worms, the terms "gastrointestinal tract" and "large intestine" are often used to...

. It secretes protein-digesting enzymes and strong acids to aid in food digestion, (sent to it via oesophageal
Esophagus
The esophagus is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing, food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels via peristalsis to the stomach...

 peristalsis
Peristalsis
Peristalsis is a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles which propagates in a wave down the muscular tube, in an anterograde fashion. In humans, peristalsis is found in the contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract. Earthworms use a similar...

) through smooth muscular
Smooth muscle
Smooth muscle is an involuntary non-striated muscle. It is divided into two sub-groups; the single-unit and multiunit smooth muscle. Within single-unit smooth muscle tissues, the autonomic nervous system innervates a single cell within a sheet or bundle and the action potential is propagated by...

 contortions (called segmentation) before sending partially digested food (chyme
Chyme
Chyme is the semifluid mass of partly digested food expelled by the stomach into the duodenum.Also known as chymus, it is the liquid substance found in the stomach before passing through the pyloric valve and entering the duodenum...

) to the small intestines.

The word stomach is derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 stomachus which is derived from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word stomachos, ultimately from stoma , "mouth".
Encyclopedia
The stomach is a muscular
Muscle
Muscle is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell. They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles. Their function is to...

, hollow, dilated part of the alimentary canal which functions as an important organ
Organ (anatomy)
In biology, an organ is a collection of tissues joined in structural unit to serve a common function. Usually there is a main tissue and sporadic tissues . The main tissue is the one that is unique for the specific organ. For example, main tissue in the heart is the myocardium, while sporadic are...

 of the digestive tract in some animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s, including vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s, echinoderm
Echinoderm
Echinoderms are a phylum of marine animals. Echinoderms are found at every ocean depth, from the intertidal zone to the abyssal zone....

s, insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s (mid-gut), and molluscs. It is involved in the second phase of digestion
Digestion
Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into a blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism: a breakdown of large food molecules to smaller ones....

, following mastication
Mastication
Mastication or chewing is the process by which food is crushed and ground by teeth. It is the first step of digestion and it increases the surface area of foods to allow more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the food is positioned between the teeth for grinding by...

 (chewing).

The stomach is located between the esophagus
Esophagus
The esophagus is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing, food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels via peristalsis to the stomach...

 and the small intestine
Small intestine
The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract following the stomach and followed by the large intestine, and is where much of the digestion and absorption of food takes place. In invertebrates such as worms, the terms "gastrointestinal tract" and "large intestine" are often used to...

. It secretes protein-digesting enzymes and strong acids to aid in food digestion, (sent to it via oesophageal
Esophagus
The esophagus is an organ in vertebrates which consists of a muscular tube through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach. During swallowing, food passes from the mouth through the pharynx into the esophagus and travels via peristalsis to the stomach...

 peristalsis
Peristalsis
Peristalsis is a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles which propagates in a wave down the muscular tube, in an anterograde fashion. In humans, peristalsis is found in the contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract. Earthworms use a similar...

) through smooth muscular
Smooth muscle
Smooth muscle is an involuntary non-striated muscle. It is divided into two sub-groups; the single-unit and multiunit smooth muscle. Within single-unit smooth muscle tissues, the autonomic nervous system innervates a single cell within a sheet or bundle and the action potential is propagated by...

 contortions (called segmentation) before sending partially digested food (chyme
Chyme
Chyme is the semifluid mass of partly digested food expelled by the stomach into the duodenum.Also known as chymus, it is the liquid substance found in the stomach before passing through the pyloric valve and entering the duodenum...

) to the small intestines.

The word stomach is derived from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 stomachus which is derived from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 word stomachos, ultimately from stoma , "mouth". The words gastro- and gastric (meaning related to the stomach) are both derived from the Greek word gaster .

Role in digestion

Bolus
Bolus
-Medicine:* Bolus , the administration of a drug, medication or other substance in the form of a single, large dose* Bolus , a tissue equivalent substance used in radiation therapy...

 (masticated food) enters the stomach through the oesophagus via the oesophageal sphincter. The stomach releases proteases (protein-digesting enzymes such as pepsin
Pepsin
Pepsin is an enzyme whose precursor form is released by the chief cells in the stomach and that degrades food proteins into peptides. It was discovered in 1836 by Theodor Schwann who also coined its name from the Greek word pepsis, meaning digestion...

) and hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

, which kills or inhibits bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 and provides the acidic pH
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

 of two for the proteases to work. Food is churned by the stomach through muscular contractions of the wall – reducing the volume of the fundus, before looping around the fundus and the body of stomach
Body of stomach
The Body of the Stomach often just called the body or corpus is an anatomical region of the stomach in humans....

 as the boluses are converted into chyme
Chyme
Chyme is the semifluid mass of partly digested food expelled by the stomach into the duodenum.Also known as chymus, it is the liquid substance found in the stomach before passing through the pyloric valve and entering the duodenum...

 (partially digested food). Chyme slowly passes through the pyloric sphincter and into the duodenum
Duodenum
The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum...

, where the extraction of nutrients begins. Depending on the quantity and contents of the meal, the stomach will digest the food into chyme
Chyme
Chyme is the semifluid mass of partly digested food expelled by the stomach into the duodenum.Also known as chymus, it is the liquid substance found in the stomach before passing through the pyloric valve and entering the duodenum...

 anywhere between forty minutes and a few hours.

Anatomy of the stomach

The stomach lies between the oesophagus and the duodenum
Duodenum
The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum...

 (the first part of the small intestine
Small intestine
The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract following the stomach and followed by the large intestine, and is where much of the digestion and absorption of food takes place. In invertebrates such as worms, the terms "gastrointestinal tract" and "large intestine" are often used to...

). It is on the left upper part of the abdominal cavity
Abdominal cavity
The abdominal cavity is the body cavity of the human body that holds the bulk of the viscera. It is located below the thoracic cavity, and above the pelvic cavity. Its dome-shaped roof is the thoracic diaphragm , and its oblique floor is the pelvic inlet...

. The top of the stomach lies against the diaphragm. Lying behind the stomach is the pancreas
Pancreas
The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin, as well as a digestive organ, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that assist...

. The greater omentum
Greater omentum
The greater omentum is a large fold of parietal peritoneum that hangs down from the stomach...

 hangs down from the greater curvature.

Two sphincters keep the contents of the stomach contained. They are the esophageal sphincter
Esophageal sphincter
The term esophageal sphincter refers to one of two sphincters that are part of the esophagus:*lower esophageal sphincter which leads into the cardia....

 (found in the cardiac region, not an anatomical sphincter) dividing the tract above, and the Pyloric sphincter  dividing the stomach from the small intestine.

The stomach is surrounded by parasympathetic (stimulant) and orthosympathetic (inhibitor) plexuses (networks of blood vessels and nerves in the anterior gastric, posterior, superior and inferior, celiac and myenteric), which regulate both the secretions activity and the motor (motion) activity of its muscles.

In adult humans, the stomach has a relaxed, near empty volume of about 45 ml. Because it is a distensible organ, it normally expands to hold about one litre of food, but can hold as much as two to three litres. The stomach of a newborn human baby will only be able to retain about 30 ml.

Sections

The stomach is divided into four sections, each of which has different cells and functions. The sections are:
| Cardia
Cardia
The cardia is the anatomical term for the part of the stomach attached to the esophagus. The cardia begins immediately distal to the z-line of the gastroesophageal junction, where the squamous epithelium of the esophagus gives way to the columnar epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract.Just...

 >
>-
| Fundus
Fundus (stomach)
The fundus of the stomach is the left portion of the stomach's body, and is marked off from the remainder of the body by a plane passing horizontally through the cardiac orifice....

 
>-
| Body
Body of stomach
The Body of the Stomach often just called the body or corpus is an anatomical region of the stomach in humans....

 or Corpus
>-
| Pylorus
Pylorus
The pylorus is the region of the stomach that connects to the duodenum . It is divided into two parts:* the pyloric antrum, which connects to the body of the stomach.* the pyloric canal, which connects to the duodenum....

 
The lower section of the organ that facilitates emptying the contents into the small intestine.


Blood supply

The lesser curvature of the stomach is supplied by the right gastric artery
Right gastric artery
The right gastric artery arises from the common hepatic artery, above the pylorus, descends to the pyloric end of the stomach, and passes from right to left along its lesser curvature, supplying it with branches, and anastomosing with the left gastric artery.-Additional images:-External links: -...

 inferiorly, and the left gastric artery
Left gastric artery
In human anatomy, the left gastric artery arises from the celiac artery, and runs along the superior portion of the lesser curvature of the stomach. Branches also supply the lower esophagus...

 superiorly, which also supplies the cardiac region. The greater curvature is supplied by the right gastroepiploic artery inferiorly and the left gastroepiploic artery superiorly. The fundus of the stomach, and also the upper portion of the greater curvature, are supplied by the short gastric artery.

Like the other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach walls are made of the following layers, from inside to outside:
mucosa  epithelium
Epithelium
Epithelium is one of the four basic types of animal tissue, along with connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue. Epithelial tissues line the cavities and surfaces of structures throughout the body, and also form many glands. Functions of epithelial cells include secretion, selective...

 and the lamina propria
Lamina propria
The lamina propria is a constituent of the moist linings known as mucous membranes or mucosa, which line various tubes in the body ....

 (composed of loose connective tissue), with a thin layer of smooth muscle
Smooth muscle
Smooth muscle is an involuntary non-striated muscle. It is divided into two sub-groups; the single-unit and multiunit smooth muscle. Within single-unit smooth muscle tissues, the autonomic nervous system innervates a single cell within a sheet or bundle and the action potential is propagated by...

 called the muscularis mucosae
Muscularis mucosae
The lamina muscularis mucosae is the thin layer of smooth muscle found in most parts of the gastrointestinal tract, located outside the lamina propria mucosae and separating it from the submucosa....

 separating it from the submucosa beneath.
>-
| submucosa
Submucosa
In the gastrointestinal tract, the submucosa is the layer of dense irregular connective tissue or loose connective tissue that supports the mucosa, as well as joins the mucosa to the bulk of underlying smooth muscle .-Contents:Blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and nerves will run through...

 
>-
| muscularis externa
Muscularis externa
The muscular coat is a region of muscle in many organs in the vertebrate body, adjacent to the submucosa membrane...

 
Over the submucosa, the muscularis externa in the stomach differs from that of other GI organs in that it has three layers of smooth muscle
Smooth muscle
Smooth muscle is an involuntary non-striated muscle. It is divided into two sub-groups; the single-unit and multiunit smooth muscle. Within single-unit smooth muscle tissues, the autonomic nervous system innervates a single cell within a sheet or bundle and the action potential is propagated by...

 instead of two.
  • inner oblique layer: This layer is responsible for creating the motion that churns and physically breaks down the food. It is the only layer of the three which is not seen in other parts of the digestive system. The antrum has thicker skin cells in its walls and performs more forceful contractions than the fundus.
  • middle circular layer: At this layer, the pylorus is surrounded by a thick circular muscular wall which is normally tonically constricted forming a functional (if not anatomically discrete) pyloric sphincter
    Sphincter
    A sphincter is an anatomical structure, or a circular muscle, that normally maintains constriction of a natural body passage or orifice and which relaxes as required by normal physiological functioning...

    , which controls the movement of chyme
    Chyme
    Chyme is the semifluid mass of partly digested food expelled by the stomach into the duodenum.Also known as chymus, it is the liquid substance found in the stomach before passing through the pyloric valve and entering the duodenum...

     into the duodenum
    Duodenum
    The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum...

    . This layer is concentric to the longitudinal axis of the stomach.
  • outer longitudinal layer: Auerbach's plexus
    Auerbach's plexus
    A part of the enteric nervous system, Auerbach's plexus , exists between the longitudinal and circular layers of muscularis externa in the gastrointestinal tract and provides motor innervation to both layers of the mucosa, having both parasympathetic and sympathetic input, whereas Meissner's plexus...

     is found between this layer and the middle circular layer.

>-
| serosa 
This layer is over the muscularis externa, consisting of layers of connective tissue continuous with the peritoneum
Peritoneum
The peritoneum is the serous membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity or the coelom — it covers most of the intra-abdominal organs — in amniotes and some invertebrates...

.

Glands

The epithelium
Epithelium
Epithelium is one of the four basic types of animal tissue, along with connective tissue, muscle tissue and nervous tissue. Epithelial tissues line the cavities and surfaces of structures throughout the body, and also form many glands. Functions of epithelial cells include secretion, selective...

 of the stomach forms deep pits. The glands at these locations are named for the corresponding part of the stomach:
| Cardiac glands
Cardiac glands
The cardiac glands of the stomach secrete primarily mucus. They are few in number and occur close to the cardiac orifice where the esophagus joins the stomach.In general, they are more shallow than those in the other parts of the stomach....


(at cardia
Cardia
The cardia is the anatomical term for the part of the stomach attached to the esophagus. The cardia begins immediately distal to the z-line of the gastroesophageal junction, where the squamous epithelium of the esophagus gives way to the columnar epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract.Just...

) >
Pyloric glands
Pyloric glands
The pyloric glands are found in the pyloric portion of the stomach.They consist of two or three short closed tubes opening into a common duct or mouth.These tubes are wavy, and are about one-half the length of the duct....


(at pylorus
Pylorus
The pylorus is the region of the stomach that connects to the duodenum . It is divided into two parts:* the pyloric antrum, which connects to the body of the stomach.* the pyloric canal, which connects to the duodenum....

)
Fundic glands
Fundic glands
The fundus glands are found in the body and fundus of the stomach.They are simple tubes, two or more of which open into a single duct.-Pathology:...


(at fundus
Fundus (stomach)
The fundus of the stomach is the left portion of the stomach's body, and is marked off from the remainder of the body by a plane passing horizontally through the cardiac orifice....

)
>-
|


Different types of cells are found at the different layers of these glands:
Layer of stomach Name Secretion Region of stomach Staining
>-
| Isthmus of gland
Mucous neck cells mucus
Mucus
In vertebrates, mucus is a slippery secretion produced by, and covering, mucous membranes. Mucous fluid is typically produced from mucous cells found in mucous glands. Mucous cells secrete products that are rich in glycoproteins and water. Mucous fluid may also originate from mixed glands, which...

 gel layer
Fundic, cardiac, pyloric >-
| Body of gland
parietal (oxyntic) cell
Parietal cell
Parietal cells, or oxyntic cells, are the stomach epithelium cells that secrete gastric acid and intrinsic factor.Acetylcholine and gastrin . The histamine receptors act by increasing intracellular cAMP, whereas the muscarinic and gastrin receptors increase intracellular Ca2+ levels...

s
gastric acid
Gastric acid
Gastric acid is a digestive fluid, formed in the stomach. It has a pH of 1 to 2 and is composed of hydrochloric acid , and large quantities of potassium chloride and sodium chloride...

 and intrinsic factor
Intrinsic factor
Intrinsic factor also known as gastric intrinsic factor is a glycoprotein produced by the parietal cells of the stomach. It is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12 later on in the small intestine...

 
Fundic only >-
| Base of gland
chief (zymogenic) cell
Gastric chief cell
A gastric chief cell is a cell in the stomach that releases pepsinogen, gastric lipase and Chymosin...

s
pepsinogen  Fundic only Basophilic
Basophilic
Basophilic is a technical term used by histologists. It describes the microscopic appearance of cells and tissues, as seen down the microscope, after a histological section has been stained with a basic dye. The most common such dye is haematoxylin....


>-
| Base of gland
enteroendocrine (APUD) cells
Enteroendocrine cells
Enteroendocrine cells are specialized endocrine cells of the gastrointestinal tract. They produce hormones such as serotonin, somatostatin, motilin, cholecystokinin, gastric inhibitory peptide, neurotensin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, and enteroglucagon....

 
hormones gastrin, histamine, endorphins, serotonin, cholecystokinin and somatostatin Fundic, cardiac, pyloric -

Control of secretion and motility

The movement and the flow of chemicals into the stomach are controlled by both the autonomic nervous system
Autonomic nervous system
The autonomic nervous system is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system functioning largely below the level of consciousness, and controls visceral functions. The ANS affects heart rate, digestion, respiration rate, salivation, perspiration, diameter of the pupils,...

 and by the various digestive system hormone
Hormone
A hormone is a chemical released by a cell or a gland in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Only a small amount of hormone is required to alter cell metabolism. In essence, it is a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one...

s:
Gastrin
Gastrin
In humans, gastrin is a peptide hormone that stimulates secretion of gastric acid by the parietal cells of the stomach and aids in gastric motility. It is released by G cells in the antrum of the stomach, duodenum, and the pancreas...

 
gastrin causes an increase in the secretion of HCl from the parietal cells, and pepsinogen from chief cells in the stomach. It also causes increased motility in the stomach. Gastrin is released by G-cells in the stomach in response to distenstion of the antrum, and digestive products(especially large quantities of incompletely digested proteins). It is inhibited by a pH
PH
In chemistry, pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Pure water is said to be neutral, with a pH close to 7.0 at . Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline...

 normally less than 4 (high acid), as well as the hormone somatostatin
Somatostatin
Somatostatin is a peptide hormone that regulates the endocrine system and affects neurotransmission and cell proliferation via interaction with G-protein-coupled somatostatin receptors and inhibition of the release of numerous secondary hormones.Somatostatin...

.
>-
| Cholecystokinin
Cholecystokinin
Cholecystokinin is a peptide hormone of the gastrointestinal system responsible for stimulating the digestion of fat and protein...

 
Cholecystokinin (CCK) has most effect on the gall bladder, causing gall bladder contractions, but it also decreases gastric emptying and increases release of pancreatic juice which is alkaline and neutralizes the chyme.
>-
| Secretin
Secretin
Secretin is a hormone that controls the secretions into the duodenum, and also separately, water homeostasis throughout the body. It is produced in the S cells of the duodenum in the crypts of Lieberkühn...

 
secretin, produced in the small intestine
Small intestine
The small intestine is the part of the gastrointestinal tract following the stomach and followed by the large intestine, and is where much of the digestion and absorption of food takes place. In invertebrates such as worms, the terms "gastrointestinal tract" and "large intestine" are often used to...

, has most effects on the pancreas, but will also diminish acid secretion in the stomach.
>-
| Gastric inhibitory peptide 
Gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP) decreases both gastric acid release and motility.
>-
| Enteroglucagon
Enteroglucagon
Enteroglucagon is a peptide hormone derived from preproglucagon. It is a gastrointestinal hormone, secreted from mucosal cells primarily of the colon and terminal ileum. It has 37 amino acids. Enteroglucagon is released following ingestion of a mixed meal, and delays gastric emptying.- External...

 


Other than gastrin, these hormones all act to turn off the stomach action. This is in response to food products in the liver and gall bladder, which have not yet been absorbed. The stomach needs to push food into the small intestine only when the intestine is not busy. While the intestine is full and still digesting food, the stomach acts as storage for food.

EGF in gastric defense

Epidermal growth factor
Epidermal growth factor
Epidermal growth factor or EGF is a growth factor that plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation by binding to its receptor EGFR...

 or EGF
EGF
EGF can refer to several things:*Epidermal growth factor, a growth factor in biology*Exponential generating function, a function in mathematics*European Gendarmerie Force, a European intervention force...

 results in cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival. EGF is a low-molecular-weight polypeptide first purified from the mouse submandibular gland, but since then found in many human tissues including submandibular gland, parotid gland. Salivary EGF, which seems also regulated by dietary inorganic iodine
Iodine
Iodine is a chemical element with the symbol I and atomic number 53. The name is pronounced , , or . The name is from the , meaning violet or purple, due to the color of elemental iodine vapor....

, plays also an important physiological role in the maintenance of oro-oesophageal and gastric tissue integrity. The biological effects of salivary EGF include healing of oral and gastroesophageal ulcers, inhibition of gastric acid secretion, stimulation of DNA synthesis as well as mucosal protection from intraluminal injurious factors such as gastric acid, bile acids, pepsin, and trypsin and to physical, chemical and bacterial agents.

Stomach as nutrition sensor

The stomach can "taste" sodium glutamate using glutamate receptors and this information is passed to the lateral hypothalamus
Lateral hypothalamus
The lateral hypothalamus or lateral hypothalamic area is a part of the hypothalamus.It is concerned with hunger. Damage to this area can cause reduced food intake...

 and limbic system
Limbic system
The limbic system is a set of brain structures including the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, septum, limbic cortex and fornix, which seemingly support a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, long term memory, and olfaction. The term "limbic" comes from the Latin...

 in the brain
Brain
The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals—only a few primitive invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, sea squirts and starfishes do not have one. It is located in the head, usually close to primary sensory apparatus such as vision, hearing,...

 as a palatability
Palatability
Palatability is the hedonic reward provided by foods or fluids that are agreeable to the "palate" in regard to the homeostatic satisfaction of nutritional, water, or energy needs. The palatability of a food or fluid, unlike its flavor or taste, varies with the state of an individual: it is lower...

 signal through the vagus nerve
Vagus nerve
The vagus nerve , also called pneumogastric nerve or cranial nerve X, is the tenth of twelve paired cranial nerves...

. The stomach can also sense independently to tongue and oral taste receptors glucose
Glucose
Glucose is a simple sugar and an important carbohydrate in biology. Cells use it as the primary source of energy and a metabolic intermediate...

, carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s protein
Protein
Proteins are biochemical compounds consisting of one or more polypeptides typically folded into a globular or fibrous form, facilitating a biological function. A polypeptide is a single linear polymer chain of amino acids bonded together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of...

s, and fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

s. This allows the brain to link nutritional value of foods to their tastes.

Absorption

Although the absorption is mainly a function of the small intestine, some absoption of certain small molecules nevertheless does occur in the stomach through its lining. This includes:
  • Water, if the body is too dehydrated
  • Simple sugars like glucose (e.g. through a glucose drink)
  • Medication, like aspirin
  • Amino acids (e.g. whey protein shake).

Diseases of the stomach

Historically, it was widely believed that the highly acidic environment of the stomach would keep the stomach immune from infection
Infection
An infection is the colonization of a host organism by parasite species. Infecting parasites seek to use the host's resources to reproduce, often resulting in disease...

. However, a large number of studies have indicated that most cases of peptic ulcer
Peptic ulcer
A peptic ulcer, also known as PUD or peptic ulcer disease, is the most common ulcer of an area of the gastrointestinal tract that is usually acidic and thus extremely painful. It is defined as mucosal erosions equal to or greater than 0.5 cm...

s, gastritis
Gastritis
Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach, and has many possible causes. The main acute causes are excessive alcohol consumption or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. Sometimes gastritis develops after major surgery, traumatic...

, and stomach cancer
Stomach cancer
Gastric cancer, commonly referred to as stomach cancer, can develop in any part of the stomach and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs; particularly the esophagus, lungs, lymph nodes, and the liver...

 are caused by Helicobacter pylori
Helicobacter pylori
Helicobacter pylori , previously named Campylobacter pyloridis, is a Gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium found in the stomach. It was identified in 1982 by Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who found that it was present in patients with chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers, conditions that were...

infection.
The stomach has to regenerate a new layer of mucus every two weeks, or else damage to the epithelium may result.

In other animals

Although the precise shape and size of the stomach varies widely among different vertebrates, the relative positions of the oesophageal and duodenal openings remain relatively constant. As a result, the organ always curves somewhat to the left before curving back to meet the pyloric sphincter. However, lamprey
Lamprey
Lampreys are a family of jawless fish, whose adults are characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. Translated from an admixture of Latin and Greek, lamprey means stone lickers...

s, hagfish
Hagfish
Hagfish, the clade Myxini , are eel-shaped slime-producing marine animals . They are the only living animals that have a skull but not a vertebral column. Along with lampreys, hagfish are jawless and are living fossils whose next nearest relatives include all vertebrates...

es, chimaera
Chimaera
Chimaeras are cartilaginous fish in the order Chimaeriformes, known informally as ghost sharks, ratfish , spookfish , or rabbitfishes...

s, lungfish
Lungfish
Lungfish are freshwater fish belonging to the Subclass Dipnoi. Lungfish are best known for retaining characteristics primitive within the Osteichthyes, including the ability to breathe air, and structures primitive within Sarcopterygii, including the presence of lobed fins with a well-developed...

es, and some teleost fish have no stomach at all, with the oesophagus opening directly into the intestine. These animals all consume diets that either require little storage of food, or no pre-digestion with gastric juices, or both.

The gastric lining is usually divided into two regions, an anterior portion lined by fundic glands, and a posterior with pyloric glands. Cardiac glands are unique to mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s, and even then are absent in a number of species. The distributions of these glands vary between species, and do not always correspond with the same regions as in man. Furthermore, in many non-human mammals, a portion of the stomach anterior to the cardiac glands is lined with epithelium essentially identical to that of the oesophagus. Ruminant
Ruminant
A ruminant is a mammal of the order Artiodactyla that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal's first compartment of the stomach, principally through bacterial actions, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud, and chewing it again...

s, in particular, have a complex stomach, the first three chambers of which are all lined with oesophageal mucosa.

In bird
Bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

s and crocodilians, the stomach is divided into two regions. Anteriorly is a narrow tubular region, the proventriculus
Proventriculus
The proventriculus is part of the digestive system of birds, invertebrates and insects.-Birds:The proventriculus is a standard part of avian anatomy...

, lined by fundic glands, and connecting the true stomach to the crop
Crop (anatomy)
A crop is a thin-walled expanded portion of the alimentary tract used for the storage of food prior to digestion that is found in many animals, including gastropods, earthworms, leeches, insects, birds, and even some dinosaurs.- Bees :Cropping is used by bees to temporarily store nectar of flowers...

. Beyond lies the powerful muscular gizzard
Gizzard
The gizzard, also referred to as the ventriculus, gastric mill, and gigerium, is an organ found in the digestive tract of some animals, including birds, reptiles, earthworms and some fish. This specialized stomach constructed of thick, muscular walls is used for grinding up food; often rocks are...

, lined by pyloric glands, and, in some species, containing stones that the animal swallows to help grind up food.

See also

  • Bariatric Surgery
    Bariatric surgery
    Bariatric surgery includes a variety of procedures performed on people who are obese. Weight loss is achieved by reducing the size of the stomach with an implanted medical device or through removal of a portion of the stomach or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines...

    , Weight Loss Surgery
  • Foveolar cells
    Foveolar cells
    Foveolar cells are mucus producing cells which cover the inside of the stomach, protecting it from the corrosive nature of gastric acid. Foveolar cells are also known as surface mucous cells or mucous neck cells, depending on the location. These cells line the gastric mucosa and gastric pits...

    , mucous producing cells of the stomach
  • Peristalsis
    Peristalsis
    Peristalsis is a radially symmetrical contraction and relaxation of muscles which propagates in a wave down the muscular tube, in an anterograde fashion. In humans, peristalsis is found in the contraction of smooth muscles to propel contents through the digestive tract. Earthworms use a similar...

    , muscular movement that occurs in the stomach
  • Borborygmus
    Borborygmus
    Borborygmus also known as stomach growling, rumbling, gurgling, grumbling or wambling, is the rumbling sound produced by the contraction of muscles in the stomach and intestines of animals, including humans...

    , growling of stomach
  • Digestion
    Digestion
    Digestion is the mechanical and chemical breakdown of food into smaller components that are more easily absorbed into a blood stream, for instance. Digestion is a form of catabolism: a breakdown of large food molecules to smaller ones....

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    Gastroesophageal reflux disease
    Gastroesophageal reflux disease , gastro-oesophageal reflux disease , gastric reflux disease, or acid reflux disease is chronic symptoms or mucosal damage caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus...

  • Discovery and Development of Proton Pump Inhibitors
    Discovery and development of proton pump inhibitors
    Proton pump inhibitors block the gastric Hydrogen potassium ATPase and inhibit gastric acid secretion. These drugs have emerged as the treatment of choice for acid-related diseases, including gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease.-History:Evidence emerged by the end of the...


External links

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