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BIOE

340
Fall 2016

BIOE 340 Lecture 24 Notes



So far in this course, we have covered how the body makes use of nutrients to maintain homeostasis. Today we will start a
discussion of gastrointestinal physiology, which covers how our body extracts these nutrients from the food we ingest via the
process of digestion.

Gastrointestinal System
Key Components
GI tract or alimentary tract, a tube lined by epithelial cells from mouth to anus
o Esophagus
o Stomach
o Intestines
Duodenum
Jejenum
Ileum
Liver
o Gallbladder
Pancreas






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GI Tract
Lined with layers of smooth muscle cells (SMCs), with epithelial cells on the luminal side
Compared with skeletal muscle cells, SMCs are
o Smaller, shorter, have slower cycling of myosin-actin binding, require less energy for contraction, contract more
slowly, and have a greater maximum potential force of contraction
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Intestines are organized into villi

Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

SMC contraction differs from skeletal muscle contraction in key ways:


2+
Troponin is not present in SMCs, Ca binds to calmodulin instead
This binding event allows for activation of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK)
MLCK phosphorylates myosin light chain, allows for actin binding



CaM = calmodulin




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SMC Action potentials - 2 types: spike and plateau; spike is typical in GI system
2+
+
- Spike potentials caused by Ca , as opposed to by Na in skeletal muscle






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Nervous Control of GI System

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Parasympathetic stimulatory
Sympathetic inhibitory

Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

Hormonal Control of GI System

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Medical Physiology,
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Blood Supply to GI System

within villi

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OK, so we have discussed how the pipework of the GI system works, the purpose of which is to propel food into areas where
digestion and metabolism can occur (and to remove and excrete waste). Movement of food through the GI tract is accomplished by
peristalsis.

Peristalsis synchronous contraction of SMCs that moves forward (towards the anus)



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It is also critical that contents of the GI tract are constantly mixed, which is accomplished by isolated contractions of the GI tract that
function like baffles.

Why is constant mixing so important?




Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

Peristalsis is essential from the beginning of ingestion, or food intake.


Ingestion enabled by secretion of saliva (1L/d)
Chewing (mastication)
Swallowing (deglutition) peristalsis required

Feher Quantitative
Human Physiology

Peristalsis propels food to stomach


Stomach
stores food, allowing for slow controlled release to small intestine (duodenum)
peristaltic mixing occurs continuously, facilitating activity of gastric secretions
o HCl proteolysis
o Pepsinogen proteolysis
o Intrinsic factor vitamin B12 absorption
o Lipase lipolysis
Small Intestine
primary site of chemical digestion
o Duodenum enzyme secretion
o Jejenum absorption of nutrients, which then are transported to the liver
o Ileum absorption of vitamin B12
Large Intestine (Colon)
absorption of water and electrolytes
feces formation and storage
Pancreas
- has both digestive and endocrine functions, made up of several cell types
- secretes enzymes to break down nutrients:
- carbohydrates: amylase
- lipids: lipase, cholesterol esterase, phospholipase
- proteins: trypsin, chymotrypsin, carboxypolypeptidase
- secretes HCO3 ions



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th

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Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

Liver
-

composed of hepatocytes
has many functions
o detoxification
o protein synthesis
o metabolism
o bile synthesis (critical for digestion)
bile alkaline fluid stored in gallbladder then secreted into duodenum to digest lipids
helps remove wastes from blood
bilirubin
cholesterol

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Medical Physiology,
11th Edition
































Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

Digestion and Absorption


Breaking down of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates into component parts
Occurs via enzymatic hydrolysis


R-R + H2O ROH + RH

Protein Digestion
o Stomach
HCl denatures proteins
Pepsin cleaves proteins into peptide fragments
o Intestine
Pancreatic enzymes cleave peptides into smaller fragments and/or free amino acids
Additional peptidases in the epithelial brush border aid in this process

Feher Quantitative
Human Physiology

Protein (Amino Acid) Absorption


+
o Secondary active transport (Na co-transport)
o Facilitated diffusion

Feher Quantitative
Human Physiology





Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

Carbohydrate Digestion
o Occurs within small intestine and at brush border

Feher Quantitative
Human Physiology

Carbohydrate Absorption
o Glucose secondary active transport (only for GI membrane and renal tubules; otherwise facilitated diffusion!!!!)
o Galactose secondary active transport
o Fructose facilitated diffusion









Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

Lipid Digestion
o Stomach
Emulsification dispersion of large lipid globules into smaller droplets via constant mixing
o Intestine
Emulsification continues
Emulsion stabilized by bile salts and lecithin (both from liver)
Break down of emulsified fats by pancreatic lipase into fatty acids
Lipid Absorption
o Fatty acids form mixed micelles with lecithin
o Lipoproteins formed for lipid transport






































Feher Quantitative

Human Physiology








Answers to
questions:

Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes

BIOE 340
Fall 2016

Q: Kidneys filter the blood, so why is alcohol processed by the liver?


A: As we will see next time, everything from your GI tract that goes into the blood passes through the liver before going back to
heart and having the opportunity to be filtered by the kidneys. This is called first-pass metabolism

Q: Is there a connection between peristalsis and vomiting or regurgitation?
A: The physiology of vomiting is actually not that well described. However, it does have to do with pressure changespressure in
your stomach and abdomen increases relative to pressures in you esophagus, and that, along with relaxation of the pyloric sphincter,
allows for the contents of your stomach to be propelled out of your mouth (sorry for the grossness).

Steven M. Jay, University of Maryland 2016 Not for publication or distribution BIOE 340 F16 Lecture 24 Notes