An age-dependent proliferation is involved in the postnatal development of interstitial cells of Cajal in the small intestine of mice
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This paper aimed at investigating the alterations in interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) in the murine small intestine from 0-day to 56-day post-partum (P0–P56) by immunohistochemistry. The Kit+ ICCs, which were situated around myenteric nerve plexus (ICC-MY) formed a loose cellular network at P0 which changed into an intact one before P32. The density of ICC-MY increased from P0 to P12, and then decreased until P32. In contrast, the estimated total amount increased more than 15-fold at P32 than that at P0. Some Kit+/BrdU+ cells were observed at 24 h after one BrdU injection to the different-aged mice, and the number decreased from P2 to P24 and vanished at P32. Actually a few Kit+/BrdU+ cells can be observed at 1 h after one BrdU injection at P10, and the amount doubled at 24 h along with paired Kit+/BrdU+ cells. A number of BrdU+ ICCs were also labeled with CD34, CD44 and insulin-like growth factor I receptor. About 65% ICCs were BrdU+ at P32 after daily BrdU injection from P0. Our results indicate that an age-dependent proliferation is involved in the postnatal development of ICC-MY which increase greatly in cell numbers and proliferative ICCs may originate from ICCs progenitor cells.
KeywordsProliferation Kit BrdU Precursor Progenitor
This work was supported in parts by the national key basic research program of China (2007CB512401). We thank Dr. Thomas FitzGibbon for comments and discussion on earlier drafts of the manuscript, and also we are grateful to Wei Sun and Li-ting Wang (Central laboratory, Third Military Medical University) for their help with confocal laser scanning microscopy.