• Open Access

About the presence of interstitial cells of Cajal outside the musculature of the gastrointestinal tract



Santiago Ramon y Cajal observed a special cell type that appeared to function as endstructures of the intrinsic nervous system in several organs. These cells were structurally and functionally further characterized in the gut musculature and named interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC). In recent years, interstitial cells have been identified in the vasculature, urinary tract, glands and other organs. Their morphologies and functions are just beginning to be clarified. It is likely that amongst them, subtypes will be discovered that warrant the classification of interstitial cells of Cajal. This “point of view” continues the discussion on the criteria that should be used to identify ICC outside the musculature of the gut.