Distribution of interstitial cells of Cajal and nitrergic neurons in normal and diabetic human appendix

S. M. Miller, R. A. Narasimhan, P. F. Schmalz, E. E. Soffer, R. M. Walsh, V. Krishnamurthi, P. J. Pasricha, J. H. Szurszewski, G. Farrugia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine the distribution of enteric nerves and interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the normal human appendix and in type 1 diabetes. Appendixes were collected from patients with type 1 diabetes and from non-diabetic controls. Volumes of nerves and ICC were determined using 3-D reconstruction and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) expressing neurons were counted. Enteric ganglia were found in the myenteric plexus region and within the longitudinal muscle. ICC were found throughout the muscle layers. In diabetes, c-Kit positive ICC volumes were significantly reduced as were nNOS expressing neurons. In conclusion, we describe the distribution of ICC and enteric nerves in health and in diabetes. The data also suggest that the human appendix, a readily available source of human tissue, may be useful model for the study of motility disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Fibrosis
  • Myenteric plexus
  • Neuronal nitric oxide synthase
  • PGP 9.5
  • Smooth muscle
  • c-Kit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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