Neural control of the oesophagus

The oesophagus receives both sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation. The swallowing centre in the medulla oblongata initiates peristaltic contractions via the vagus (Xth crainial) nerve, which innervates the skeletal muscles in the upper oesophagus. The smooth muscle is innervated indirectly by neurons in the vagus nerve, which synapse with neurons in the myenteric plexus. The lower part of the oesophagus is believed to receive both sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation.

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