Relationship between enteric neurons and interstitial cells in the primate gastrointestinal tract
Version of Record online: 15 JUL 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Neurogastroenterology & Motility
Volume 24, Issue 9, pages e437–e449, September 2012
How to Cite
Blair, P. J., Bayguinov, Y., Sanders, K. M. and Ward, S. M. (2012), Relationship between enteric neurons and interstitial cells in the primate gastrointestinal tract. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 24: e437–e449. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2012.01975.x
- Issue online: 22 AUG 2012
- Version of Record online: 15 JUL 2012
- Received: 6 April 2012 Accepted for publication: 4 June 2012
- enteric nervous system;
- excitatory and inhibitory motor neurons;
- interstitial cells of Cajal;
- PDGFRα+ cells
Background Morphological studies have revealed a close anatomical relationship between enteric nerve terminals and intramuscular ICC (ICC-IM) which supports a role for ICC-IM as intermediaries in enteric motor neurotransmission. Recently, a second type of interstitial cell previously described as ‘fibroblast-like’ but can now be identified by platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α expression, has also been implicated in enteric neurotransmission in rodents. The present study was performed to determine if enteric nerve fibers form close anatomical relationships with ICC and PDGFRα+ cells throughout the primate GI tract.
Methods Immunohistochemical experiments and confocal microscopy were performed to examine the relationship between excitatory and inhibitory motor neurons, ICC and PDGFRα+ cells throughout the monkey GI tract.
Key Results The pan neuronal marker. Protein gene product 9.5 (PGP9.5) was used to label all enteric neurons and substance-P (sub-P) and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) to label excitatory and inhibitory neurons, respectively. Double labeling with Kit revealed that both classes of nerve fibers were closely apposed with ICC-IM in the stomach, small intestine and colon (taenia and inter-taenia regions), but not with ICC at the level of the myenteric plexus (ICC-MY). Varicose enteric nerve fibers were closely associated with ICC-IM for distances up to 250 μm. Both excitatory and inhibitory nerve fibers were also closely apposed to PDGFRα+ cells throughout the primate GI tract.
Conclusions & Inferences The close anatomical relationship between enteric nerve fibers and ICC-IM and PDGFRα+ cells throughout the GI tract of the Cynomolgus monkey provides morphological evidence that these two classes of interstitial cells may provide a similar physiological function in primates as has been attributed in rodent animal models.