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Cell Tissue Res. 1992 May;268(2):205-16.

Interstitial cells associated with the deep muscular plexus of the guinea-pig small intestine, with special reference to the interstitial cells of Cajal.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Ehime University, School of Medicine, Japan.

Abstract

Interstitial cells associated with the deep muscular plexus of the guinea-pig small intestine were studied by electron microscopy, and three-dimensional cell models were reconstructed from serial ultrathin sections with a computer graphic system. Three types of cells were recognized. The first type was similar in shape to smooth muscle cells, but did not contain an organized contractile apparatus. Many large gap junctions comprising about 4% of the cell surface were present; they connected cells of the first type to each other, to the second type of cell and to smooth muscle cells of the outer circular layer. The second type of cell had a well-demarcated cell body with long slender processes and was characterized by a large amount of glycogen comprising about 9% of the cell volume. The third type of cell was similar to fibroblasts, and contained well-developed Golgi apparatus and rough endoplasmic reticulum. Some of these fibroblast-like cells (a possible subtype) formed small gap junctions. All three types of cells showed close relationships with nerve varicosities. This cellular network consisting of gap-junction-rich cells, glycogen-rich cells and smooth muscle cells may be involved in the pacemaking activity of intestinal movement.

PMID:
1617694
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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