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Gastroenterology. 2011 Jul;141(1):310-9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.03.056. Epub 2011 Apr 2.

Successful implantation of bioengineered, intrinsically innervated, human internal anal sphincter.

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  • 1GI Molecular Motors Lab, Department of Pediatrics-Gastroenterology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0658, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

To restore fecal continence, the weakened pressure of the internal anal sphincter (IAS) must be increased. We bioengineered intrinsically innervated human IAS to emulate sphincteric physiology in vitro.

METHODS:

We cocultured human IAS circular smooth muscle with immortomouse fetal enteric neurons. We investigated the ability of bioengineered innervated human IAS, implanted in RAG1-/- mice, to undergo neovascularization and preserve the physiology of the constituent myogenic and neuronal components.

RESULTS:

The implanted IAS was neovascularized in vivo; numerous blood vessels were observed with no signs of inflammation or infection. Real-time force acquisition from implanted and preimplant IAS showed distinct characteristics of IAS physiology. Features included the development of spontaneous myogenic basal tone; relaxation of 100% of basal tone in response to inhibitory neurotransmitter vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and direct electrical field stimulation of the intrinsic innervation; inhibition of nitrergic and VIPergic electrical field-induced relaxation (by antagonizing nitric oxide synthesis or receptor interaction); contraction in response to cholinergic stimulation with acetylcholine; and intact electromechanical coupling (evidenced by direct response to potassium chloride). Implanted, intrinsically innervated bioengineered human IAS tissue preserved the integrity and physiology of myogenic and neuronal components.

CONCLUSIONS:

Intrinsically innervated human IAS bioengineered tissue can be successfully implanted in mice. This approach might be used to treat patients with fecal incontinence.

PMID:
21463628
PMCID:
PMC3129458
DOI:
10.1053/j.gastro.2011.03.056
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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