UNIT 21.1 Overview of Gastrointestinal Toxicology

  1. Gabriella Coruzzi

Published Online: 1 FEB 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0471140856.tx2101s43

Current Protocols in Toxicology

Current Protocols in Toxicology

How to Cite

Coruzzi, G. 2010. Overview of Gastrointestinal Toxicology. Current Protocols in Toxicology. 43:21.1:21.1.1–21.1.6.

Author Information

  1. University of Parma, Parma, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2010
  2. Published Print: FEB 2010


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract has the unique feature of having a huge area for exposure to potentially harmful agents, including concentrated acid, food, chemicals, and pathogens. Research over the past decades has identified some of the key events that are involved in mucosal damage and defense. The enteric nervous system, immune system, and a variety of endocrine and paracrine mediators act in concert to endure mucosal barrier integrity and gut homeostasis. Disruptors of mucosal defense mechanisms include drugs, food allergens and contaminants, metals, chemicals, radiation, and pathogens. A variety of animal experimental models have been set up to detect possible deleterious effects to the GI tract and the potential risk in humans. Curr. Protoc. Toxicol. 43:21.1.1-21.1.6. © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • gastrointestinal (GI) tract;
  • mucosal defense;
  • immune system;
  • acid secretion;
  • motility;
  • intestinal bacteria