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Interstitial cells of Cajal and the autonomic nervous systems

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Research topic Frontiers in Neuroscience

Interstitial cells of Cajal and the autonomic nervous systems
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Research topic Frontiers in Neuroscience

Interstitial cells of Cajal and the autonomic nervous systems

The focus of this research topic is “interstitial cells of Cajal” (ICC) and the study of interactions between ICC and the ENS and ANS to control and regulate motility of the hollow smooth muscle organs in the body. Studies on ICC have made a great impact on our understanding of motility control of the gut, the urinary tract, the lymphatic system, the rhythmically contracting vasculature and other organs. However, it is still difficult to differentiate the role of ICC , the role of the ENS and intrinsic properties of smooth muscle cells. It is essential for a full understanding of autonomic control of the hollow organs to understand the interactions between ICC and associated cells such as PDGFRα positive cells, smooth muscle and the ENS and ANS.
All smooth muscle organs exhibit rhythmic patterns of contraction, most occur spontaneously; in some organs they emerge after neural or other stimuli; all are influenced by the autonomic nervous system. Hence a pacemaker system is working in almost all such organs. ICC are proposed to take part in these pacemaker systems but they may not have exclusive rights to this and they depend on or are regulated by autonomic nerves. Some types of innervation of smooth muscle may also depend on ICC for transmission or regulation or amplification.

This research topic will attract physiological and pharmacological and genetic studies in animal models as well as clinical studies or studies on human tissues

Subtopics include but are not limited to:

• Physiological studies on their interactions in health and in animal models of disease or human disease
• Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics studies on ICC – ANS control systems
• High resolution manometry of rhythmic activities in all hollow organs in health and disease
• Structure function relationships
• Molecular biochemical control mechanism of rhythmicity and pacemaking within single cells
• Regulation of cell to cell communication
• Gut microbe interactions with pacemaker systems
• Pharmacologic modulation
• Mathematical modeling
• New methods
We welcome all types of submissions: review articles, original research, opinions where the author(s) might respond to controversial developments anywhere in the literature. Most welcome are manuscripts where authors would present a new hypothesis a “hypothesis and theory” submission. Please see the Frontiers website for further details on all the possible types of submission.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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