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Annu Rev Physiol. 1999;61:45-84.

Ionic conductances in gastrointestinal smooth muscles and interstitial cells of Cajal.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA. farrugia.gianrico@mayo.edu


Ion channels are the unitary elements that underlie electrical activity of gastrointestinal smooth muscle cells and of interstitial cells of Cajal. The result of ion channel activity in the gastrointestinal smooth muscle layers is a rhythmic change in membrane potential that in turn underlies events leading to organized motility patterns. Gastrointestinal smooth muscle cells and interstitial cells of Cajal express a wide variety of ion channels that are tightly regulated. This review summarizes 20 years of data obtained from patch-clamp studies on gastrointestinal smooth muscle cells and interstitial cells, with a focus on regulation.

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