Innervation of Bladder and Bowel

  1. Greg Bock Organizer and
  2. Julie Whelan
  1. G. Burnstock

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470513941.ch2

Ciba Foundation Symposium 151 - Neurobiology of Incontinence

Ciba Foundation Symposium 151 - Neurobiology of Incontinence

How to Cite

Burnstock, G. (2007) Innervation of Bladder and Bowel, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 151 - Neurobiology of Incontinence (eds G. Bock and J. Whelan), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470513941.ch2

Author Information

  1. Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology and Centre for Neuroscience, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471926870

Online ISBN: 9780470513941



  • bladder innervation;
  • bowel innervation;
  • chemical coding;
  • trauma;
  • neurobiology


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.