Cajal-like cells in the upper urinary tract: comparative study in various species

Pediatric Surgery International
Roman MetzgerHans-Georg Dietz

Abstract

The interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) play an important role in the control of gut motility. The recognition that the ICC cell membrane harbors the c-kit receptor (CD117) sparked rapid advancement in ICC research on the gut and certain pathologies using immunochemical and molecular methods. The question arises whether ICC exist in the upper urinary tract (UUT) and trigger motility. The present study analyzed the distribution of the c-kit receptor in the normal human UUT compared with various species. Immunohistochemistry (alkaline-phosphatase-anti-alkaline-phosphatase technique, immunofluorescence) was applied on serial sections using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies recognizing the c-kit receptor. C-kit staining was compared with standard endothelial, epithelial, neurogenic, histiocytic, mast cell, and smooth muscle markers, as well as a negative control. Normal proximal, middle, and distal ureter segments were analyzed in rodents, carnivores, porcines, cow, and humans. In all species the c-kit receptor was detected in either round or spindle-shaped cells. Because of their antigenic profile, the round cells were identified as mast cells occurring in all layers of the ureteral wall except the urothelium and were more freque...Continue Reading

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