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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Sep 15;303(6):G713-22. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00112.2012. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Bioengineered human IAS reconstructs with functional and molecular properties similar to intact IAS.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.


Because of its critical importance in rectoanal incontinence, we determined the feasibility to reconstruct internal anal sphincter (IAS) from human IAS smooth muscle cells (SMCs) with functional and molecular attributes similar to the intact sphincter. The reconstructs were developed using SMCs from the circular smooth muscle layer of the human IAS, grown in smooth muscle differentiation media under sterile conditions in Sylgard-coated tissue culture plates with central Sylgard posts. The basal tone in the reconstructs and its changes were recorded following 0 Ca(2+), KCl, bethanechol, isoproterenol, protein kinase C (PKC) activator phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate, and Rho kinase (ROCK) and PKC inhibitors Y-27632 and Gö-6850, respectively. Western blot (WB), immunofluorescence (IF), and immunocytochemical (IC) analyses were also performed. The reconstructs developed spontaneous tone (0.68 ± 0.26 mN). Bethanechol (a muscarinic agonist) and K(+) depolarization produced contraction, whereas isoproterenol (β-adrenoceptor agonist) and Y-27632 produced a concentration-dependent decrease in the tone. Maximal decrease in basal tone with Y-27632 and Gö-6850 (each 10(-5) M) was 80.45 ± 3.29 and 17.76 ± 3.50%, respectively. WB data with the IAS constructs' SMCs revealed higher levels of RhoA/ROCK, protein kinase C-potentiated inhibitor or inhibitory phosphoprotein for myosin phosphatase (CPI-17), phospho-CPI-17, MYPT1, and 20-kDa myosin light chain vs. rectal smooth muscle. WB, IF, and IC studies of original SMCs and redispersed from the reconstructs for the relative distribution of different signal transduction proteins confirmed the feasibility of reconstruction of IAS with functional properties similar to intact IAS and demonstrated the development of myogenic tone with critical dependence on RhoA/ROCK. We conclude that it is feasible to bioengineer IAS constructs using human IAS SMCs that behave like intact IAS.

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