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World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Jul 14;16(26):3239-48.

Interstitial cells of Cajal, the Maestro in health and disease.

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  • 1Department of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Sharjah University, Sharjah 27272, United Arab Emirates.


Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are important players in the symphony of gut motility. They have a very significant physiological role orchestrating the normal peristaltic activity of the digestive system. They are the pacemaker cells in gastrointestinal (GI) muscles. Absence, reduction in number or altered integrity of the ICC network may have a dramatic effect on GI system motility. More understanding of ICC physiology will foster advances in physiology of gut motility which will help in a future breakthrough in the pharmacological interventions to restore normal motor function of GI tract. This mini review describes what is known about the physiologic function and role of ICCs in GI system motility and in a variety of GI system motility disorders.

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