Cellular and Molecular Biology


The primary cilium: A relevant characteristic in interstitial cells of rat duodenum enteric plexus

Concepción Junquera Escribano1,2, Irene Cantarero Carmona1,2, Mª José Luesma Bartolomé1,2, Mario Soriano-Navarro4, Carmen Martínez-Ciriano1,2, Tomás Castiella Muruzábal2,3 and José-Manuel García-Verdugo4

1Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain, 2Aragon Health Sciences Institute, Zaragoza, Spain, 3“Lozano Blesa” University Clinical Hospital, Zaragoza, Spain and 4Prince Felipe Research Center, Valencia, Spain.

Offprint requests to: Prof. C. Junquera, Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Domingo Miral s/n, 50009 Zaragoza. e-mail: cjunquer@unizar.es

Summary. Studies in vitro have permitted the identification of enteric neural progenitor cells. Now the question arises as to where these progenitor cells are located in vivo. The purpose of this paper is to identify possible candidate cells by means of transmission electron microscopy (TEM).
We have located three interstitial cellular types around the rat duodenum myenteric plexus. Type I cells have been identified as Interstitial Cells of Cajal (ICCs). These cells present well defined ultrastructural characteristics, including the triple connexion IC- nervous trunk- blood vessels. Type II cells show characteristics of immature cells, emphasizing the presence of a single cilium with the structure (9+0). To analyse this nanostructure, we have elaborated a reconstruction on ultrathin sections. The two previously described cellular types could be considered to be different functional states of the same cell. Type III cells present ultrastructural characteristics of fibroblast-like cells. This study suggests that Type II cells could be a source of neural progenitor cells
. Histol Histopathol 26, 461-470 (2011)

Key words: Primary cilium, Interstitial cells, Enteric plexus, Progenitor cells, Stem cells, Ultrastructure, Electron microscopy

DOI: 10.14670/HH-26.461