Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15297259
Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. 2005 Jan;288(1):G151-8
The interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) play an important role in coordinating intestinal motility, and structural alterations in ICC are found in several human digestive diseases. Mouse models with defects in ICC allow a better understanding of their functions. We investigated the pattern of intestinal motility and the distribution of ICC in the PRM/Alf inbred mouse strain, characterized by a selective intestinal lengthening. In PRM/Alf mice, the digestive transit time, evaluated by using thermophilic Bacillus subtilis spores, was normal, indicating accelerated transit. The contractility and slow-wave frequency, recorded on isolated segments from the proximal small intestine, were significantly increased. The number of ICC was also significantly higher along the small intestine and the colon. The concomitant increase of the contractility, the slow-wave frequency, and the number of ICC is consistent with the proposal of a role of ICC number increase in the higher intestinal transit speed. The PRM/Alf model should be useful to further investigate the roles of ICC in the control of digestive motility.