Interstitial cells of Cajal
Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Liz Silverstone had no recorded disclosures.View Liz Silverstone's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Joshua Yap had no financial relationships to ineligible companies to disclose.View Joshua Yap's current disclosures
The interstitial cells of Cajal are mesenchymal cells closely apposed to neural and smooth muscle cells of the gut. They form a heterogeneous group with differing ultrastructure and functions.
One cell type has an ancillary neural function as a gastrointestinal pacemaker, generating electrical slow waves that drive rhythmic smooth muscle contraction; peristalsis for propulsion and segmentation for mixing. Failure of this network causes gastroparesis and intestinal pseudo-obstruction.
History and etymology
These cells are named after S Ramon y Cajal, an eminent Spanish neuroanatomist in the 19th century who described the fibroblast-type interstitial cells of Cajal.
gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST): a heterogeneous family of submucosal tumors derived from interstitial cells of Cajal or common progenitor cells
the oncogenic mutations (80% c-KIT and 20% PDGFRA genes) produce abnormal receptor tyrosine kinase proteins that are always activated, leading to uncontrolled cell proliferation
extra-gastrointestinal GISTs arise from interstitial cells of Cajal in other organs
- 1. Roland C & Feig B. History of GIST. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors. 2016;:1-5. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-42632-7_1