Cryosections and whole-mount preparations of the guinea pig small intestine and colon were single or double immunolabeled using the anti-c-Kit and protein gene product 9.5 antibodies. Immunolabeled specimens were observed under a confocal laser scanning microscope. The main findings of the present study are: (1) the distribution and profiles of three-dimensional structures of c-Kit-positive cellular networks in the small intestine and colon, and (2) the anatomical relations of c-Kit-positive cells to the enteric nerves in the layers. In the small intestine, c-Kit-positive cellular networks were observed at levels of the deep muscular plexus and myenteric plexus. The c-Kit-positive cellular networks ran along or overlay the nerve fibers at the deep muscular plexus, while they showed the reticular structures intermingled with the nerve elements at the myenteric plexus. In the colon, c-Kit-positive cellular networks were observed at levels of the submuscular plexus and myenteric plexus, and were further identified within the circular and longitudinal muscle layers as well as in the subserosal layer. In the circular muscle layer, c-Kit-positive cells surrounded the associated nerve fibers and extended several long processes toward the adjacent c-Kit-positive cells. The c-Kit-positive cellular networks within the longitudinal muscle layer as well as in the subserosal layer were not associated with the nerve fibers. In the layers of the intestinal wall with c-Kit-positive cells, the cellular networks of the interstitial cells were identified in ultrastructure. The characteristic profiles of c-Kit-positive cellular networks provide a morphological basis upon which to investigate the mechanisms regulating intestinal movement.
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Received: 14 July 1998 / Accepted: 2 September 1998
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Toma, H., Nakamura, K., Kuraoka, A. et al. Three-dimensional structures of c-Kit-positive cellular networks in the guinea pig small intestine and colon. Cell Tissue Res 295, 425–436 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004410051249
- Key words c-Kit
- Interstitial cells of Cajal
- Small intestine
- Regulation of intestinal movement
- Guinea pig