Background: The pathophysiology of constipation is not clearly identified as yet, and the interstital cells of Cajal (ICC), known to generate the slow wave activity and to be involved in intestinal neurotransmission and the enteric nervous system (ENS), are suspected to play an important role.The aims of the present study were to assess the distribution of ICC and neuronal cells of ENS in patients with slow-transit constipation and acquired megacolon. Methods: Sigmoid colon specimens were obtained from patients who underwent colectomy due to slow-transit constipation (n = 10), acquired megacolon (n = 9) and non-obstructive colon cancer (n = 10) as a control group. The ICC were visualized by c-Kit immunohistochemistry and neuronal cells of the ENS were demonstrated by protein gene product (PGP) 9.5. Density of cells stained by c-Kit and PGP 9.5 was calculated as percent area (area stained/area of X-Y plane) × 100, when images were collected at a magnification of ×40 objective, with maximum area examined in the horizontal X-Y plane of 400 μm × 400 μm using an image analyzer. Results: The densities of ICC and PGP 9.5 reactive neuronal structures were significantly decreased in all layers of sigmoid colon specimens in patients with slow-transit constipation and acquired megacolon, compared with that of the control group. However, there was no statistically significant difference in either the density of ICC or that of neuronal structures between the patients with slow-transit consti-pation and acquired megacolon. Conclusions: Slow-transit constipation and acquired megacolon were associated with alteration of ICC and neuronal cells of ENS in the sigmoid colon.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)|
|Publication status||Published - 2005 Aug|
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