• Open Access

Human placenta: de visu demonstration of interstitial Cajal-like cells

Authors

  • Laura Suciu,

    1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy
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  • L. M. Popescu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy
    2. ‘Victor Babeş’ National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
      *Correspondence to: L.M. POPESCU, M.D., Ph.D. E-mail: LMP@jcmm.org; Fax: +40 21 31 24 88 5
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  • Mihaela Gherghiceanu

    1. ‘Victor Babeş’ National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
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*Correspondence to: L.M. POPESCU, M.D., Ph.D. E-mail: LMP@jcmm.org; Fax: +40 21 31 24 88 5

Abstract

Traditional interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are present in the digestive tube and are supposed to act as pacemakers and neuromodulators. However, interstitial Cajal-like cells (ICLCs) were found outside the gastrointestinal tract, in various organs (e.g. ureter, bladder, fallopian tube, uterus, pancreas, mammary gland, myocardium etc.) and looking for such ICLC is a priority in our laboratories.We report here unequivocal visual evidence that ICLCs are present in the mesenchymal tissue of the villi from human term placenta.The following methods were used: a. vital staining with methylene blue (cryosections); b. silver impregnation (paraffin sections); c. Epon-embedded sections (∼1μm) of glutaraldehyde/osmium fixed tissue, stained with toluidine blue; d. primary cell cultures (or second-passage cells) to reveal the characteristic, very long, moniliform cell processes and mitochondrial localization at dilations (molecular fluorescence probe: Mito Tracker Green); e. immunofluorescence for c-kit/CD117 marker or other characteristic proteins; f. transmission electron microscopy to establish the identity of ICLC.

Ancillary