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Physiological and pathophysiological meanings of gastrointestinal smooth muscle motor unit SIP syncytium
Pages: 621-627
Year: Issue:  5
Journal: Acta Physiologica Sinica

Keyword:  interstitial cells of Cajalplatelet-derived growth factor receptor α-positive cellsSIP syncytiumenteric nervous system;
Abstract: Gastrointestinal smooth muscle layer contains two kinds of interstitial cells with special differentiation, i.e., interstitial cells of Cajal(ICC) and platelet-derived growth factor receptor α-positive(PDGFRα+) cells. The ICC and PDGFRα+ cells contact with smooth muscle cells(SMCs) by gap junctions and regulate contractive function of the SMCs. Therefore, these three kinds of cells constitute a functional syncytium, i.e., the SMC, ICC and PDGFRα+ cells syncytium(SIP syncytium). Various neurotransmitters, humoral factors, endogenous bioactive molecules, as well as drugs regulate gastrointestinal motility through the SIP syncytium. In this review, we introduce the concept of SIP syncytium and summarize functions of the syncytium, as well as its physiological and pathological significances.
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