Interstitial cells of Cajal

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Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are myenteric cells which integrate between the enteric nervous system and the muscle components of the bowel. They are regarded as the pacemakers of the gastrointestinal tract.[1]

Cajal cells express a signalling protein called c-kit, a property that is used in histopathological diagnosis of tumours that derive from ICC which are called gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Dysfunction of Cajal cells is implicated in dysmotility disorders.

They are best characterised with the gastrointestinal tract, but cells with similar morphology and molecular profiles have also been identified in the urinary tract[2][3] and genital tracts, e.g. vas deferens[4], Fallopian tubes[5] and vagina.[6]


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