• Open Access

Interstitial Cajal-like cells (ICLC) in human atrial myocardium

Authors

  • M. E. Hinescu,

    1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
    2. “Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
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  • L. M. Popescu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
    2. “Victor Babes” National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
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* Correspondence to: L.M. POPESCU, M.D., Ph.D. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, P.O. Box 35-29, Bucharest 35, Romania. E-mail: LMP@univermed-cdgm.roLMP@jcmm.org

Abstract

We present here visual evidence for the existence of a new type of interstitial cells in human atrial myocardium: interstitial Cajal-like cells (ICLC). These cells fulfil the so-called ‘platinum standard’(a set of 10 ultrastructural criteria for the positive diagnosis of ICLC). Conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM), followed by reconstructions from serial photomicrographs, revealed typical ICLC with 2 or 3 long, moniliform processes (several tens of micrometers long and 0.1–0.5 μm thick), emerging from the (small) cell body. Cell processes dichotomously branch and have mitochondria (at the level of dilations), caveolae and Ca2+ release units. Cell prolongations establish close spatial relationships between each other, as well as with capillaries, myocardial cells, and other connective tissue cells. Our preliminary data suggest that ICLC exist in rat ventricular myocardium, too.

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