Anatomy and Physiology of Stomach

In anatomy, the stomach is a bean-shaped muscular in the organ second of phase hollow the of

gastrointestinal tract involved digestion, mastication. The stomach lies between the esophagus and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). It is on the left side of the abdominal cavity. The top of the stomach lies against the diaphragm. Lying beneath the stomach is the pancreas, and the greater omentum which hangs from the greater curvature. In humans, the stomach has a volume of about 50 mL when empty. After a meal, it generally expands to hold about 1 liter of food, but it can actually expand to hold as much as 4 liters. When drinking milk it can expand to just under 6 pints, or 3.4 liter. following


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The stomach is a highly acidic environment due to gastric acid production and secretion which produces a luminal pH range usually between 1 and 4 depending on the species, food intake, time of the day, drug use, and other factors. Combined with digestive enzymes, such an environment is able to break down large molecules (such as from food) to smaller ones so that they can eventually be absorbed from the small intestine. The human stomach can produce and secrete about 2 to 3 liters of gastric acid per day with basal secretion levels being typically highest in the evening. Pepsinogen is secreted by chief cells and turns into pepsin under low pH conditions and is a necessity in protein digestion. Absorption of vitamin B12 from the small intestine is dependent on conjugation to a glycoprotein called intrinsic factor which is produced by parietal cells of the stomach.

Other functions include absorbing some ions, water, and some lipid soluble compounds such as alcohol, aspirin, and caffeine. • Another function of the stomach is simply a food storage cavity.

Sections The stomach is divided into four sections, each of which has different cells and functions. The sections are:

Layers Like the other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach walls are made of the following layers, from inside to outside:

Secretions The stomach is famous for its secretion of acid, but acid is only one of four major secretory products of the gastric epithelium, all of which are important either to the digestive process or to control of gastric function: • Mucus: The most abundant epithelial cells are mucous cells, which cover the entire lumenal surface and extend down into the glands as "mucous neck cells". These cells secrete a bicarbonate-rich mucus that coats and lubricates the gastric surface, and serves an important role in protecting the epithelium from acid and other chemical insults. • Acid: Hydrochloric acid is secreted from parietal cells into the lumen where it establishes an extremely acidic environment. This acid is important for activation of pepsinogen and inactivation of ingested microorganisms such as bacteria. • Proteases: Pepsinogen, is secreted into gastric juice from both mucous cells and chief cells. Once secreted, pepsinogen is activated by stomach acid into the active protease pepsin, which is largely responsible for the stomach's ability to initiate digestion of proteins. • Hormones: The principal hormone secreted from the gastric epithelium is gastrin, a peptide that is important in control of acid secretion and gastric motility. A number of other enzymes are secreted by gastric epithelial cells, including a lipase and gelatinase. One secretory product of considerable importance in man is intrinsic factor, secreted by parietal cells that is necessary for intestinal absorption of vitamin B12. Enzymes Secreted by the Mucosa The mucosa is densely packed with gastric glands, which contain cells that produce digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and mucus.
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Mucous cells: secrete an alkaline mucus that protects the epithelium against shear stress and acid Parietal cells: secrete hydrochloric acid Chief cells: secrete pepsin, a proteolytic enzyme G cells: secrete the hormone gastrin

Anatomy of a Normal Stomach

Picture of a gastritis stomach

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