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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2003 Dec;3(6):583-7.

Ion channels in gastrointestinal smooth muscle and interstitial cells of Cajal.

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Enteric NeuroScience Program, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


A requirement for normal gastrointestinal motility is the tight regulation of ion channels expressed in interstitial cells of Cajal and smooth muscle. Interstitial cells of Cajal generate the slow wave and amplify neuronal signals; smooth muscle functions as the final effector organ. Recent advances in our understanding of the expression and mechano-regulation of these different subtypes of ion channels have allowed the development of hypotheses on how ion channels transduce a variety of inputs into electrical signals that directly or indirectly regulate gastrointestinal motor activity.

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