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Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):53-61. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.036. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

Bioengineered internal anal sphincter derived from isolated human internal anal sphincter smooth muscle cells.

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Department of Pediatrics-Gastroenterology University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.



The internal anal sphincter (IAS) is a specialized circular smooth muscle that maintains rectoanal continence. In vitro models are needed to study the pathophysiology of human IAS disorders. We bioengineered sphincteric rings from human IAS smooth muscle cells (SMC) and investigated their response to cholinergic stimulation as well as investigated whether protein kinase C (PKC) and Rho kinase signaling pathways remain functional.


3-Dimensional bioengineered ring (3DBR) model of the human IAS was constructed from isolated human IAS SMC obtained from surgery. Contractile properties and force generation in response to acetylcholine, PKC inhibitor calphostin-C, Rho/ROCK inhibitor Y-27632, permeable Rho/ROCK inhibitor c3-exoenzyme, and PKC activator PdBU was measured.


The human IAS 3DBR has the essential characteristics of physiologically functional IAS; it generated a spontaneous myogenic basal tone, and the constructs were able to relax in response to relaxants and contract in response to contractile agents. The constructs generated dose-dependent force in response to acetylcholine. Basal tone was significantly reduced by calphostin-C but not with Y-27632. Acetylcholine-induced force generation was also significantly reduced by calphostin-C but not with Y-27632. PdBU generated force that was equal in magnitude to acetylcholine. Thus, calphostin-C inhibited PdBU-induced force generation, whereas Y-27632 and c3 exoenzyme did not.


These data indicate that basal tone and acetylcholine-induced force generation depend on signaling through the PKC pathway in human IAS; PKC-mediated force generation is independent of the Rho/ROCK pathway. This human IAS 3DBR model can be used to study the pathophysiology associated with IAS malfunctions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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