Identification of telocytes in the upper lamina propria of the human urinary tract.
Bottom Line: Tissue was obtained from normal areas in nephrectomy, cystectomy and prostatectomy specimens, and processed for morphology, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy.The ULP IC in renal pelvis, ureter and urethra had a similar ultrastructural phenotype, which differed somehow from that of bladder IC, that is, thinner and longer cytoplasmic processes, no peripheral actin filaments and presence of dense core granules and microtubules.The functional relevance of ULP telocytes in the urinary tract remains to be elucidated, and ER and PR might therefore be promising pharmacological research targets.
Affiliation: Department of Urology, KU Leuven, University Hospitals Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium. Thomas.Gevaert@med.kuleuven.beShow MeSH
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Mentions: Ultrastructurally, ULP IC contained 2–3 layers of long cells with thin long cytoplasmic processes (at least 20–30 μm; Figs 1 and 2). These processes could occasionally present synapse-like thickenings. The cell body was rather small: the cytoplasm presented a moderate amount of organelles as rough endoplasmic reticulum cisternae and some mitochondria. Almost no cytoplasmic bundles of actin filaments with densifications were found. Some IC could contain microtubular structures and dense core vesicles. At the peripheral cell membrane, caveolae were seen; plasmalemmal thickenings and fibronexus were not obvious (Fig. 3). Intercellular connections consisted mostly of intermediate and gap-like junctions. Only occasional interlaying axonal nerve endings were observed. Close relationship with superficial capillaries was observed (Figs 2). The ULP IC population was intermingled with sparse fibroblasts (see Table 2 for an overview).
Affiliation: Department of Urology, KU Leuven, University Hospitals Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium. Thomas.Gevaert@med.kuleuven.be