Migrating motor complex
Migrating motor complexes (or migrating myoelectric complex) are waves of activity which sweep through the intestines in a regular cycle during fasting state.
These motor complexes help trigger peristaltic waves which facilitate transportation of indigestible substances such as bone, fiber and foreign bodies from the stomach, through the small intestine past the ileocecal sphincter into the colon.
The MMC originates in the stomach roughly every 75-90 minutes during the interdigestive phase (between meals) and is responsible for the rumbling experienced when hungry.
It also serves to transport bacteria from the small intestine to the large, and to inhibit the migration of colonic bacteria into the terminal ileum.
The MMC is thought to be partially regulated by motilin which is initiated in the stomach as a response to vagal stimulation, and does not depend on extrinsic nerves directly.
- Overview at colostate.edu
- Essentials of Human Physiology by Thomas M. Nosek. Section 6/6ch2/s6ch2_26.
- Migrating+motor+complex at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)