Ultrastructural changes in the Interstitials Cells of Cajal and gastric dysrhythmias in mice lacking full-length dystrophin (mdx mice)
- Autori: VANNUCCHI, MG; ZIZZO, MG; ZARDO, C; PIERI, L; SERIO, R; MULE', F; FAUSSONE-PELLEGRINI, MS
- Anno di pubblicazione: 2004
- Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
- OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/14296
At least two populations of c-kit positive interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) lie in the gastric wall, one located at the myenteric plexus level has a pace-making function and the other located intramuscularly is intermediary in the neurotransmission and regenerates the slow waves. Both of these ICC sub-types express full-length dystrophin. Mdx mice, an animal model lacking in full-length dystrophin and used to study Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), show gastric dismotilities. The aim of the present study was to verify in mdx mice whether: (i) gastric ICC undergo morphological changes, through immunohistochemical and ultrastructural analyses; and (ii) there are alterations in the electrical activity, using intracellular recording technique. In control mice, ICC sub-types showed heterogeneous ultrastructural features, either intramuscularly or at the myenteric plexus level. In mdx mice, all of the ICC sub-types underwent important changes: coated vesicles were significantly more numerous and caveolae significantly fewer than in control; moreover, cytoskeleton and smooth endoplasmic reticulum were reduced and mitochondria enlarged. c-Kit-positivity and integrity of the ICC networks were maintained. In the circular muscle of normal mice slow waves, which consisted of initial and secondary components, occurred with a regular frequency. In mdx mice, slow waves occurred in a highly dysrhythmic fashion and they lacked a secondary component. We conclude that the lack of the full-length dystrophin is associated with ultrastructural modifications of gastric ICC, most of which can be interpreted as signs of new membrane formation and altered Ca2þ handling, and with defective generation and regeneration of slow wave activity.