• Interspecies study of the enteric nervous system and related pathologies
  • Studio interspecie del sistema nervoso enterico e delle patologie ad esso correlate
  • Giancola, Fiorella <1986>


  • VET/01 Anatomia degli animali domestici


  • The enteric nervous system (ENS) modulates a number of digestive functions including well known ones, i.e. motility, secretion, absorption and blood flow, along with other critically relevant processes, i.e. immune responses of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, gut microbiota and epithelial barrier . The characterization of the anatomical aspects of the ENS in large mammals and the identification of differences and similarities existing between species may represent a fundamental basis to decipher several digestive GI diseases in humans and animals. In this perspective, the aim of the present thesis is to highlight the ENS anatomical basis and pathological aspects in different mammalian species, such as horses, dogs and humans. Firstly, I designed two anatomical studies in horses:  “Excitatory and inhibitory enteric innervation of horse lower esophageal sphincter”.  “Localization of 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 receptor (5-HT4R) in the equine enteric nervous system”. Then I focused on the enteric dysfunctions, including:  A primary enteric aganglionosis in horses: “Extrinsic innervation of the ileum and pelvic flexure of foals with ileocolonic aganglionosis”.  A diabetic enteric neuropathy in dogs: “Quantification of nitrergic neurons in the myenteric plexus of gastric antrum and ileum of healthy and diabetic dogs”.  An enteric neuropathy in human neurological patients: “Functional and neurochemical abnormalities in patients with Parkinson's disease and chronic constipation”. The physiology of the GI tract is characterized by a high complexity and it is mainly dependent on the control of the intrinsic nervous system. ENS is critical to preserve body homeostasis as reflect by its derangement occurring in pathological conditions that can be lethal or seriously disabling to humans and animals. The knowledge of the anatomy and the pathology of the ENS represents a new important and fascinating topic, which deserves more attention in the veterinary medicine field.


  • 2016-05-13


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Giancola, Fiorella (2016) Studio interspecie del sistema nervoso enterico e delle patologie ad esso correlate, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze veterinarie , 28 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7579.