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Myometrial interstitial cells and the coordination of myometrial contractility.

Hutchings G, Williams O, Cretoiu D, Ciontea SM - J. Cell. Mol. Med. (2009)

Bottom Line: The dominant cell population of the uterine wall consists of smooth muscle cells that contain the contractile apparatus responsible for the generation of contractile force.Recent interest has focused on a new population of cells located throughout the myometrium on the borders of smooth muscle bundles.Calcium imaging of live tissue slices suggests that contractile signalling starts on the borders of smooth muscle bundles where m-ICLC are located and recently the possible role of extracellular ATP signalling from m-ICLC has been studied.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Perinatal Research Group, 10 floor, St Luc University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium. Graham.Hutchings@uclouvain.be

ABSTRACT
A strict regulation of contractility in the uterus and fallopian tube is essential for various reproductive functions. The uterus contributes, through either increased contractility or periods of relative quiescence, to: (i) expulsion of menstrual debris, (ii) sperm transport, (iii) adequate embryo placement during implantation, (iv) enlarging its capacity during pregnancy and (v) parturition. The dominant cell population of the uterine wall consists of smooth muscle cells that contain the contractile apparatus responsible for the generation of contractile force. Recent interest has focused on a new population of cells located throughout the myometrium on the borders of smooth muscle bundles. These cells are similar to interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the gut that are responsible for the generation of electrical slow waves that control peristalsis. A precise role for myometrial Cajal-like interstitial cells (m-ICLC) has not been identified. m-ICLC express the c-kit receptor, involved in creating and maintaining the ICC phenotype in the gastrointestinal tract. However, both acute and prolonged inhibition of this receptor with the c-kit antagonist imatinib mesylate does not appear to affect the spontaneous contractility of myometrium. Calcium imaging of live tissue slices suggests that contractile signalling starts on the borders of smooth muscle bundles where m-ICLC are located and recently the possible role of extracellular ATP signalling from m-ICLC has been studied. This manuscript reviews the evidence regarding tissue-level signalling in the myometrium with a particular emphasis on the anatomical and possible functional aspects of m-ICLC as new elements of the contractile mechanisms in the uterus.

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Schematic representation of a smooth muscle bundle. (A) Myometrial ICs (green) produce a synchronous signal along the border of the smooth muscle bundles. (B) ATP and possibly other messenger molecules released by myometrial ICs provide the stimulus for the generation of a contraction. (C) The contraction starts from the border of the smooth muscle bundle and passes towards the centre via a calcium wave (arrows) transmitted through gap junctions.
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fig11: Schematic representation of a smooth muscle bundle. (A) Myometrial ICs (green) produce a synchronous signal along the border of the smooth muscle bundles. (B) ATP and possibly other messenger molecules released by myometrial ICs provide the stimulus for the generation of a contraction. (C) The contraction starts from the border of the smooth muscle bundle and passes towards the centre via a calcium wave (arrows) transmitted through gap junctions.

Mentions: A possible schematic model for the generation of myometrial contractions is presented in Fig. 11. The anatomical arrangement of smooth muscle bundles with m-ICLC located on the surfaces of these bundles is consistent with the immunohistochemical observations described above. It is proposed that interconnected m-ICLC provide a synchronized first phase signal throughout the myometrium in keeping with the first phase of Young’s biphasic theory. The mechanism for this synchronization could be similar to that of ‘coupled oscillators’ proposed by Van Helden (see the section ‘Electrophysiology of myometrial interstitial cells’). m-ICLC then stimulate neighbouring smooth muscle cells to contract with the subsequent calcium wave travelling at a relatively lower velocity towards the centre of the smooth muscle bundle (as seen with calcium imaging of myometrial sections) [81]. This calcium wave would also be consistent with the second slower phase in the biphasic theory.


Myometrial interstitial cells and the coordination of myometrial contractility.

Hutchings G, Williams O, Cretoiu D, Ciontea SM - J. Cell. Mol. Med. (2009)

Schematic representation of a smooth muscle bundle. (A) Myometrial ICs (green) produce a synchronous signal along the border of the smooth muscle bundles. (B) ATP and possibly other messenger molecules released by myometrial ICs provide the stimulus for the generation of a contraction. (C) The contraction starts from the border of the smooth muscle bundle and passes towards the centre via a calcium wave (arrows) transmitted through gap junctions.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4496132&req=5

fig11: Schematic representation of a smooth muscle bundle. (A) Myometrial ICs (green) produce a synchronous signal along the border of the smooth muscle bundles. (B) ATP and possibly other messenger molecules released by myometrial ICs provide the stimulus for the generation of a contraction. (C) The contraction starts from the border of the smooth muscle bundle and passes towards the centre via a calcium wave (arrows) transmitted through gap junctions.
Mentions: A possible schematic model for the generation of myometrial contractions is presented in Fig. 11. The anatomical arrangement of smooth muscle bundles with m-ICLC located on the surfaces of these bundles is consistent with the immunohistochemical observations described above. It is proposed that interconnected m-ICLC provide a synchronized first phase signal throughout the myometrium in keeping with the first phase of Young’s biphasic theory. The mechanism for this synchronization could be similar to that of ‘coupled oscillators’ proposed by Van Helden (see the section ‘Electrophysiology of myometrial interstitial cells’). m-ICLC then stimulate neighbouring smooth muscle cells to contract with the subsequent calcium wave travelling at a relatively lower velocity towards the centre of the smooth muscle bundle (as seen with calcium imaging of myometrial sections) [81]. This calcium wave would also be consistent with the second slower phase in the biphasic theory.

Bottom Line: The dominant cell population of the uterine wall consists of smooth muscle cells that contain the contractile apparatus responsible for the generation of contractile force.Recent interest has focused on a new population of cells located throughout the myometrium on the borders of smooth muscle bundles.Calcium imaging of live tissue slices suggests that contractile signalling starts on the borders of smooth muscle bundles where m-ICLC are located and recently the possible role of extracellular ATP signalling from m-ICLC has been studied.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Perinatal Research Group, 10 floor, St Luc University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium. Graham.Hutchings@uclouvain.be

ABSTRACT
A strict regulation of contractility in the uterus and fallopian tube is essential for various reproductive functions. The uterus contributes, through either increased contractility or periods of relative quiescence, to: (i) expulsion of menstrual debris, (ii) sperm transport, (iii) adequate embryo placement during implantation, (iv) enlarging its capacity during pregnancy and (v) parturition. The dominant cell population of the uterine wall consists of smooth muscle cells that contain the contractile apparatus responsible for the generation of contractile force. Recent interest has focused on a new population of cells located throughout the myometrium on the borders of smooth muscle bundles. These cells are similar to interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the gut that are responsible for the generation of electrical slow waves that control peristalsis. A precise role for myometrial Cajal-like interstitial cells (m-ICLC) has not been identified. m-ICLC express the c-kit receptor, involved in creating and maintaining the ICC phenotype in the gastrointestinal tract. However, both acute and prolonged inhibition of this receptor with the c-kit antagonist imatinib mesylate does not appear to affect the spontaneous contractility of myometrium. Calcium imaging of live tissue slices suggests that contractile signalling starts on the borders of smooth muscle bundles where m-ICLC are located and recently the possible role of extracellular ATP signalling from m-ICLC has been studied. This manuscript reviews the evidence regarding tissue-level signalling in the myometrium with a particular emphasis on the anatomical and possible functional aspects of m-ICLC as new elements of the contractile mechanisms in the uterus.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus