Selective labeling and isolation of functional classes of interstitial cells of Cajal of human and murine small intestine
, Journal Article
Chen, H; Redelman, D; Ro, S; Ward, SM; Ördög, T; Sanders, KM
Published in: American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology
Specific functions of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) have been linked to distinct classes that differ by morphology and distribution. In the small intestine, slow wave-generating ICC are located in the myenteric region (ICC-MY), whereas ICC that mediate neuromuscular neurotransmission occur either throughout the circular muscle layer (intramuscular ICC, ICC-IM) or in association with the deep muscular plexus (ICC-DMP). Selective isolation of ICC to characterize specific properties has been difficult. Recently, neurokinin-1 receptors have been detected in murine ICC-DMP and neurons but not in ICC-MY. Here we identified and isolated ICC-DMP/IM by receptor-mediated internalization of fluorescent substance P and Kit immunofluorescence. Specificity of labeling was verified by confocal microscopy. Mouse and human ICC-DMP/IM were detected in suspension by fluorescent microscopy and harvested for RT-PCR with micropipettes. The isolated cells expressed Kit but not markers for neurons, smooth muscle, or antigen-presenting cells. ICC-DMP expressed neurokinin-1 receptor, M and M muscarinic receptors, P2Y and P2Y purinergic receptors, VIP receptor 2, soluble guanylate cyclase-1 subunits, and protein kinase G. L- or T-type Ca channels were not detected in these cells. ICC-MY and ICC-DMP were simultaneously detected and enumerated by flow cytometry and sorted to purity by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. In summary, functional classes of ICC have distinct molecular identities that can be used to selectively identify and harvest these cells with, for example, receptor-mediated uptake of substance P and Kit immunofluorescence. ICC-DMP express neurotransmitter receptors and signaling intermediate molecules that are consistent with their role in neuromuscular neurotransmission.