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The pacemaker activity in the mammalian gut is responsible for generating anally propagating phasic contractions. The cellular basis for this intrinsic activity is unknown. The smooth muscle cells of the external muscle layers and the innervated cellular network of interstitial cells of Cajal, which is closely associated with the external muscle layers of(More)
Motility patterns and their structural basis were studied by video analysis, light and electron microscopy on the physiologically distended gut from normal and W/W(v) suckling mice and normal adult mice. Empty or diltiazem-relaxed intestine were used as references. In contrast to conventional primary aldehyde fixation, a brief primary fixation with osmic(More)
Intracellular microelectrodes and organ bath techniques were used to study spontaneous cyclic electrical and mechanical activity in the rat colon. Electron microscopy and immunohistochemical studies showed two major populations of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC): one associated with Auerbach's plexus (ICC-AP) and one with the submuscular plexus (ICC-SMP).(More)
Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) were described a century ago as primitive neurons in the intestines. Through the years, ICC have been mistaken for neurons, glial cells, fibroblasts, smooth muscle cells, and macrophages. We identified ICC in the musculature of mouse small intestine by their characteristic morphology and topography, and we analysed the(More)
This review is a portrayal of the evolution of ideas involving the interstitial cells of Cajal in changing disguises as dull fibroblasts, not very exciting Schwann cells, or perhaps quite important, though primitive neurons. However, today unmasked (we believe), they reveal themselves as myoid cells, a role that, judging by current interest, is far more(More)
Coupling of smooth muscle cells is important for coordination of gastrointestinal motility. Small structures called peg-and-socket junctions (PSJs) have been found between muscle cells and may play a role in electrical coupling due to extracellular potassium accumulation in the narrow cleft between the muscle cells. A model was developed in which an(More)
To reveal the unique intrinsic properties of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), morphological and electrophysiological characteristics of isolated ICC from the adult mouse small intestine were investigated and compared with those of smooth muscle cells. All typical ultrastructural features of in situ ICC were evident in isolated ICC throughout the isolation(More)
The small intestine of W/Wv mice lacks both the network of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), associated with Auerbach's plexus, and pacemaker activity, i.e., it does not generate slow-wave-type action potentials. The W/Wv muscle preparations showed a wide variety of electrical activities, ranging from total quiescence to generation of action potentials at(More)
Evidence showing that interstitial cells of Cajal have important regulatory functions in the gut musculature is accumulating. In the current study, the ultrastructure of the deep muscular plexus and associated interstial cells of Cajal in human small intestine were studied to provide a reference for identification and further physiological or pathological(More)
In contrast to wild-type mice, homozygotes with mutations of the W locus do not express the functional Kit receptor and are severely deficient in the Auerbach's plexus (AP)-associated subtype of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC-AP). With a morphologically intact neural and muscular structure, the absence in these mutants of both small-intestinal slow waves(More)