Chapter

Telocytes

Volume 913 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 1-21

Date:

The History of Telocyte Discovery and Understanding

  • Jian WangAffiliated withZhongshan Hospital, Shanghai Institute of Clinical Bioinformatics, Fudan University Center for Clinical Bioinformatics, Clinical Science Institute of Fudan University Zhongshan Hospital
  • , Meiling JinAffiliated withZhongshan Hospital, Shanghai Institute of Clinical Bioinformatics, Fudan University Center for Clinical Bioinformatics, Clinical Science Institute of Fudan University Zhongshan Hospital
  • , Wen-huan MaAffiliated withZhabei District Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • , Zhitu ZhuAffiliated withJinzhou Hospital of Liaoning Medical College Email author 
  • , Xiangdong WangAffiliated withZhongshan Hospital, Shanghai Institute of Clinical Bioinformatics, Fudan University Center for Clinical Bioinformatics, Clinical Science Institute of Fudan University Zhongshan Hospital Email author 

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Abstract

Telocytes (TCs) are identified as a peculiar cell type of interstitial cells in various organs. The typical features of TCs from the other cells are the extending cellular process as telopodes with alternation of podomeres and podoms. Before the year of 2010, TCs were considered as interstitial Cajal-like cells because of the similar morphology and immunohistochemical features with interstitial cells of Cajal which were found more than 100 years ago and considered to be pacemakers for gut motility. Subsequently, it demonstrated that TCs were not Cajal-like cells, and thus the new name “telocyte” was proposed in 2010. With the help of different techniques, e.g., transmission electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, or omics science, TCs have been detected in various tissues and organs from different species. The pathological role of TCs in different diseases was also studied. According to observation in situ or in vitro, TCs played a vital role in mechanical support, signaling transduction, tissue renewal or repair, immune surveillance, and mechanical sensor via establishing homo- or heterogenous junctions with neighboring cells to form 3D network or release extracellular vesicles to form juxtacrine and paracrine. This review will introduce the origin, distribution, morphology, functions, omics science, methods, and interaction of TCs with other cells and provide a better understanding of the new cell type.