Innervation of bladder and bowel

Ciba Found Symp. 1990;151:2-18; discussion 18-26. doi: 10.1002/9780470513941.ch2.


The autonomic neuromuscular junction is described and neurotransmission, co-transmission and neuromodulation are defined, as well as the 'chemical coding' of sympathetic, parasympathetic, sensory-motor and intrinsic neurons in the wall of the bladder and bowel. A detailed description of the patterns of innervation of smooth muscle of the bowel, bladder and urethra and of the urethral and anal sphincters by intramural and extrinsic autonomic nerves is presented, and the functional and pharmacological features of this innervation are summarized. Finally, changes in the pattern of innervation and expression of co-transmitters and receptors in the bladder and bowel that occur during development and old age and following trauma, surgery and disease are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autonomic Nervous System / anatomy & histology
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiology
  • Humans
  • Intestines / injuries*
  • Intestines / physiology
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Urinary Bladder / innervation*
  • Urinary Bladder / physiology


  • Neurotransmitter Agents