You are on page 1of 66

The Digestive System

 P.849 Digestive system – Takes

food, breaks it down into nutrient
molecule, absorbs these molecules into
the blood stream, and then rids the
body of the indigestible remains
 P.850 Two main groups :
 Alimentary canal or GI tract – mouth,
pharynx, esophagous, stomach, small
intestine, and large intestine
 P.851 Accessory digestive organs –
teeth, tongue, and salivary glands;
liver, pancreas, and gall bladder
 Digestive processes – six activities
 1. Ingestion –
 2. Propulsion – main one peristalsis
 3. Mechanical digestion – chewing,
 Churning, and segmentation
 P.852 4. Chemical digestion –
breaks the chemical bonds by enzymes;
begins in the mouth and is essentially
complete in the small intestine
 5. Absorption – the small intestine is
the major absorptive site
 6. Defecation -
 Peritoneum – visceral and parietal; in
between is peritoneal cavity containing
serous fluid
 Mesentery – a double layer of
peritoneum, two serous membranes
fused back to back
 Provide routes for blood vessels,
lymphatics, nerves, holds organs in
place, and store fat
 P.853 Retroperitoneal organs –
 Intraperitoneal or peritoneal
organs –
 Peritonitis –
 P.854 Splanchnic circulation –
 Walls of the alimentary canal have four
tunics – mucosa, submucosa,
muscularis externa, and serosa
The Mucosa
 P.855 Mucosa or mucous membrane
– the innermost layer, made of
epithelial tissue
 Functions – (1) secretion of mucus,
digestive enzymes, and hormones
(2) absorption of the end products of
digestion into the blood (3) protection
against infectious disease
 Digestive mucosa have three sublayers:
(1) a lining epithelium – simple
columner epithelium (2) lamina
propria – loose areolar connective
tissue (3) muscularis mucosae – a scant
layer of smooth muscle cells that
produces local movements of the
 Submucosa – external to the mucosa,
dense connective tissue containing
blood and lymphatic vessels, lymphoid
follicles, and nerve fibers
 Muscularis externa or muscularis –
inner circular layer and longitudinal
layer of smooth muscle cells
 Serosa – outermost layer, made of
areolar connective tissue
 Enteric nervous system –
sympathetic and parasympathetic
 P.856 Mouth – also called oral cavity
or buccal cavity; anteriorly is the oral
orifice, posteriorly is the oropharynx
 P.857 Palate – forms the roof of the
mouth, hard palate, soft palate & uvula
 Tongue – occupies the floor of the
mouth and fills most of the oral cavity
 Mixes food with saliva and forms it into
a compact mass called a bolus
 Filiform papillae, fungiform
papillae , vallate papillae and
foliate papillae – fungiform, vallate
and foliate papillae house taste buds
The Salivary Glands
 P.858 Saliva – (1) cleanses mouth, (2)
dissolves food chemicals so that they
can be tasted, (3) moistens food and
aids in compacting it into a bolus, and
(4) contain enzymes that begin the
chemical breakdown of starchy foods
 Extrinsic salivary glands –
 Intrinsic salivary or buccal glands -
 Parotid gland – lies anterior to the ear
between the masseter muscle and the
 Submandibular gland – lies along the
medial aspect of the mandibular body
 Sublingual gland – underneath the
 Mumps – inflammation of the
parotid glands by the mumps virus
 Mucous and serous cells –
 P.859 Composition of Saliva – largely
water 97 – 99.5%, so hypo-osmotic; pH
is slightly acidic 6.75 – 7.00; solutes
includes electrolytes ; digestive enzyme
salivary amylase
 Control of Salivation – 1.5 L per day
 Teeth – primary, deciduous, milk or
baby teeth total 20
 Permanent teeth – 32, third molar is
also called wisdom teeth, last to
emerge between the ages 17 and 25
 P.860 Figures 23.10 & 23.11

 P.861 Pharynx – from the mouth,
food passes posteriorly into the
oropharynx and then the
 P.862 Esophagus – a muscular tube;
joins the stomach at the cardiac orifice,
has cardiac or gastroesophageal
 Heartburn – when the acidic gastric
juice regurgitates into the esophagus
 P.863 Mastication (Chewing) –
 Deglutition (Swallowing) –
 P.864 Stomach – a temporary “storage
tank” where chemical breakdown of
proteins begins and food is converted to
a creamy paste called chyme
 P.865 Gross Anatomy:
 Cardiac region or cardia –
 Fundus –
 P.866 Body –
 Pyloric region or pylorus –
 Pylorus – continuous with the
duodenum through the pyloric sphincter
 P.866 Microscopic Anatomy:
 Lining epithelium – simple columner
 Millions of deep gastric pits, which
lead into the gastric glands that
produce the stomach secretion called
gastric juice
 1. Mucous neck cells, produce mucus
 2. Chief cells – produce pepsinogen,
inactive form of enzyme pepsin, HCl
converts pepsinogen to active pepsin
 3. Parietal cells – secrete HCl and
intrinsic factor. HCl makes the stomach
contents extremely acidic (pH 1.5 – 3.5)
Intrinsic factor is needed for vitamin B12
absorption in the small intestine
 4. Enteroendocrine cells – release a
variety of hormones, one is gastrin
 P.869 Gastric ulcers – erosions of the
stomach wall, hypersecretion of HCl and
hyposecretion of mucus. Most
recurrent ulcers (90%) are due to acid-
resistant, corkscrew-shaped
Helicobactor pylori bacteria
 P.870 Pepsin – protein digesting
enzyme produced by the gastric
 Rennin – only in infants, curdles milk
 Absorption – alcohol and aspirin
 Intrinsic factor – for B12 absorption;
in its absence pernicious anemia results
 P.871 Figure 23.17
Regulation of Gastric Secretion
 Controlled by both neural and hormonal
 3L of gastric juice is produced daily
 Parasympathetic (vagus) – stimulate
the secretory activity and motility
 Sympathetic – depresses the
secretory activity and motility
 Phase 1: Cephalic – only neural,
gastric secretion occurs before food
enters the stomach; only a few minutes
long, triggered by smell, taste, sight, or
thought of food
 Phase 2: Gastric –both neural and
hormonal, once food reaches the
stomach; 3 – 4 hours long and provides
about two-thirds of the gastric juice
 Neural influences initiated by stomach
 Hormone gastrin stimulate gastric
 Phase 3: Intestinal – one excitatory
and the other is inhibitory, GIP,
secretin and cholecystokinin
 P.868 Table 23.1 – Gastrin, GIP,
Secretin and Cholecystokinin (CCK)
 P.875 Small Intestine – body’s major
digestive organ; digestion is completed
and virtually all absorption occurs
 Extending from the pyloric sphincter to
the ileocecal valve
 Longest of the alimentary tube
 Three subdivisions- duodenum (1 feet),
jejunum (8 feet) and ileum (12 feet)
 Mesentery –
 P.876 Villi – in the core of each villus
is a capillary bed and a lymph capillary
called a lacteal
 P.876 Microvilli – brush border
 Crypts of Lieberkuhn –
 Peyer’s patches – lymphoid follicles
 Intestinal juice – 1 to 2 L daily,
slightly alkaline pH 7.4 – 7.8
 P.878 Liver – body’s most important
organ, has many metabolic and
regulatory roles. Its digestive function
is to produce bile, a fat emulsifier
 P.881 Bile – is a yellow-green, alkaline
solution containing bile salts, bile
pigments, cholesterol, neutral fats,
phospholipids and a variety of
electrolytes; only bile salts and
phospholipids aid in digestion
 Bile salts – emulsify fats
 Bilirubin – chief bile pigment
 P.882 Gallbladder – Stores and
concentrate bile
 Bile is the major vehicle for cholesterol
excretion, and bile salts keep the
cholesterol dissolved within bile
 Gallstones – too much cholesterol or
too few bile salts
The pancreas
 Pancreas – has head, body & tail
 Both exocrine and endocrine function
 Exocrine product is pancreatic juice –
secreted by the acinar cells (90%)
drains via main pancreatic duct
 P.883 1 – 1.5 L – contains mainly
water, enzymes and bicarbonate ions
 Scattered amidst the acini are the
islets of Langerhans – endocrine part
 Beta cells (90%) – secrete insulin
which lowers blood sugar
 Alpha cells (10%) – secrete glucagon
which raises blood sugar
 High pH of pancreatic fluid neutralizes
the acid chyme entering the duodenum
 Within the duodenum, trypsinogen is
activated to trypsin by enterokinase,
an intestinal brush border enzyme
 Secretin and cholecystokinin – both act
on pancreas
 Secretin – stimulate secretion
pancreatic juice rich in bicarbonate
 Cholecystokinin - stimulate secretion
pancreatic juice rich in enzyme
 P.886 Segmentation – is the most
common movement of the small
The Large Intestine
 P.887 Frames the small intestine on
three sides and extends from the
ileocecal valve to the anus
 Major function is to absorb water from
indigestible food residues and eliminate
them from the body as feces
 P.888 Figure 23.29
 Mesocolon – the mesentery
 P.890 Haustral movement – most
seen in the colon
 P.892 Chemical digestion – a
catabolic process, food molecules are
broken down to monomers, small
enough to be absorbed by the GI tract
 Hydrolysis – enzymatic breakdown,
involves addition of a water
 P.893 Figure 23.32
 P.892 Carbohydrates –
 P.894 Proteins –
 P.895 Lipids -
 P.895 Absorption
 P.896 Carbohydrates and Proteins –
secondary active transport coupled to
sodium ion transport
 Lipids – by simple diffusion
 Micelles –
 Chylomicrons -