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Microsc Res Tech. 1999 Dec 1;47(5):344-60.

Interstitial cells of Cajal in human gut and gastrointestinal disease.

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Laboratoire de Neuropathologie et Physiopathologie du Système Nerveux, Faculté de Médecine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, B-1070 Brussels, Belgium.


This paper reviews the distribution of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract, based on ultrastructural and immunohistochemical evidence. The distribution and morphology of ICC at each level of the normal GI tracts is addressed from the perspective of their functional significance. Alterations of ICC reported in achalasia of cardia, infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction, Hirschsprung's disease, inflammatory bowel diseases, slow transit constipation, and some other disorders of GI motility as well as in gastrointestinal stromal tumors are reviewed, with emphasis on the place of ICC in the pathophysiology of disease.

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