Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cell Tissue Res. 2011 Apr;344(1):17-30. doi: 10.1007/s00441-011-1138-1. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

Relationship between interstitial cells of Cajal, fibroblast-like cells and inhibitory motor nerves in the internal anal sphincter.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, NV 89557, USA.


Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) have been shown to participate in nitrergic neurotransmission in various regions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Recently, fibroblast-like cells, which are positive for platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα(+)), have been suggested to participate additionally in inhibitory neurotransmission in the GI tract. The distribution of ICC and PDGFRα(+) cell populations and their relationship to inhibitory nerves within the mouse internal anal sphincter (IAS) are unknown. Immunohistochemical techniques and confocal microscopy were therefore used to examine the density and arrangement of ICC, PDGFRα(+) cells and neuronal nitric-oxide-synthase-positive (nNOS(+)) nerve fibers in the IAS of wild-type (WT) and W/W ( v ) mice. Of the total tissue volume within the IAS circular muscle layer, 18% consisted in highly branched PDGFRα(+) cells (PDGFRα(+)-IM). Other populations of PDGFRα(+) cells were observed within the submucosa and along the serosal and myenteric surfaces. Spindle-shaped intramuscular ICC (ICC-IM) were present in the WT mouse IAS but were largely absent from the W/W ( v ) IAS. The ICC-IM volume (5% of tissue volume) in the WT mouse IAS was significantly smaller than that of PDGFRα(+)-IM. Stellate-shaped submucosal ICC (ICC-SM) were observed in the WT and W/W ( v ) IAS. Minimum surface distance analysis revealed that nNOS(+) nerve fibers were closely aligned with both ICC-IM and PDGFRα(+)-IM. An even closer association was seen between ICC-IM and PDGFRα(+)-IM. Thus, a close morphological arrangement exists between inhibitory motor neurons, ICC-IM and PDGFRα(+)-IM suggesting that some functional interaction occurs between them contributing to inhibitory neurotransmission in the IAS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center