Research Topic

Pharmacological Treatments Affecting Gastro-Intestinal Motility in Man

About this Research Topic

Motility of upper and lower gastrointestinal tract (GI) is regulated by several receptors, nerve endings belonging to the enteric nervous system (ENS) and hormones. Such motility allows the food bolus to progress along the oesophagus, avoid acid and/or non-acid reflux of gastric/duodenal content through the cardiac. It is also involved in the regulation of hunger, satiety and appetite, digestion and absorption of main nutrients in the intestine.

In particular, in the large intestine a more recent actor, namely gut microbiota (GM), actively interacts with upper and lower GI motility in the afore-mentioned processes and is a notable therapeutic target for the treatment of lower functional GI disorders (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome). Potential developments of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), commonly used to treat Clostidium difficile infections, seem to pave the road to its usage in functional GI disorders too.

In the last decades, several prokinetic and non-prokinetic remedies have been studied and developed by pharmacological industry in order to modulate upper and lower GI motility. Their impact on GI motility and related functions and/or dysfunctions have been shown to be significantly different and heterogeneous. These findings have merged a patient-specific therapeutic approach.

Thus, this Research Topic is aimed to provide a useful forum for specialists to contribute an exhaustive review of literature evidences and the latest advancements on pharmacological treatments affecting gastro-intestinal motility in man. In this regard, it is also useful to shed light on the emerging role of gut microbiota modulation in the field of GI motility.

We welcome Original Research and Reviews addressing the below sub-topics, but not limited to:

Medications affecting esophageal motility disorders (IEM, achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm, etc.):

• Treatment of refractory Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) disorders: current status and evolving therapies
• Medications affecting upper gastrointestinal tract motility disorders (FD, gastroparesis, etc.)
• New developments in prokinetic therapy for gastric motility disorders
• Non-prokinetic treatments for functional and motility disorders of the stomach
• Medications affecting lower gastrointestinal tract motility disorders (IBS, constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
• Novel treatment approaches to chronic constipation and IBS with constipation
• Current pharmacotherapy for functional diarrhoea and IBS with diarrhea
• Targeting gut microbiota for treatment of functional bowel disorders (pre-, probiotic modulation, antibiotic use, diet modulation, etc.) and their effects on GI motility
• Manipulation of gut microbiota in IBS and non-IBS conditions (FMT for C. difficile and other gastrointestinal infections, probiotics use and misuse)


Dr. Tack receives financial support from Shire, Sofar and Tsumura. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Gastrointestinal motility, enteric nervous system, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, gut microbiota


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Motility of upper and lower gastrointestinal tract (GI) is regulated by several receptors, nerve endings belonging to the enteric nervous system (ENS) and hormones. Such motility allows the food bolus to progress along the oesophagus, avoid acid and/or non-acid reflux of gastric/duodenal content through the cardiac. It is also involved in the regulation of hunger, satiety and appetite, digestion and absorption of main nutrients in the intestine.

In particular, in the large intestine a more recent actor, namely gut microbiota (GM), actively interacts with upper and lower GI motility in the afore-mentioned processes and is a notable therapeutic target for the treatment of lower functional GI disorders (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome). Potential developments of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), commonly used to treat Clostidium difficile infections, seem to pave the road to its usage in functional GI disorders too.

In the last decades, several prokinetic and non-prokinetic remedies have been studied and developed by pharmacological industry in order to modulate upper and lower GI motility. Their impact on GI motility and related functions and/or dysfunctions have been shown to be significantly different and heterogeneous. These findings have merged a patient-specific therapeutic approach.

Thus, this Research Topic is aimed to provide a useful forum for specialists to contribute an exhaustive review of literature evidences and the latest advancements on pharmacological treatments affecting gastro-intestinal motility in man. In this regard, it is also useful to shed light on the emerging role of gut microbiota modulation in the field of GI motility.

We welcome Original Research and Reviews addressing the below sub-topics, but not limited to:

Medications affecting esophageal motility disorders (IEM, achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm, etc.):

• Treatment of refractory Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) disorders: current status and evolving therapies
• Medications affecting upper gastrointestinal tract motility disorders (FD, gastroparesis, etc.)
• New developments in prokinetic therapy for gastric motility disorders
• Non-prokinetic treatments for functional and motility disorders of the stomach
• Medications affecting lower gastrointestinal tract motility disorders (IBS, constipation, diarrhea, etc.)
• Novel treatment approaches to chronic constipation and IBS with constipation
• Current pharmacotherapy for functional diarrhoea and IBS with diarrhea
• Targeting gut microbiota for treatment of functional bowel disorders (pre-, probiotic modulation, antibiotic use, diet modulation, etc.) and their effects on GI motility
• Manipulation of gut microbiota in IBS and non-IBS conditions (FMT for C. difficile and other gastrointestinal infections, probiotics use and misuse)


Dr. Tack receives financial support from Shire, Sofar and Tsumura. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: Gastrointestinal motility, enteric nervous system, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, gut microbiota


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

05 July 2020 Abstract
05 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

05 July 2020 Abstract
05 November 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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