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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2010, Article ID 164986, 9 pages
Research Article

Bone Marrow Derivation of Interstitial Cells of Cajal in Small Intestine Following Intestinal Injury

State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burn and Combined Injury, Institute of Combined Injury, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, 400038, China

Received 1 September 2009; Revised 24 December 2009; Accepted 27 January 2010

Academic Editor: Ronnie Gallagher

Copyright © 2010 Dengqun Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) in gastrointestinal tract are specialized cells serving as pacemaker cells. The origin of ICCs is currently not fully characterized. In this work, we aimed to study whether bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) could contribute to the origin of ICCs in the muscular plexus of small intestine using GFP-C57BL/6 chimeric mice.Engraftment of BMDCs in the intestine was investigated for GFP expression. GFP positive bone marrow mononuclear cells reached a proportion of at different times in chimerism. Donor-derived cells distributed widely in all the layers of the gastrointestinal tract. There were GFP positive BMDCs in the myenteric plexus, which resembled characteristics of ICCs, including myenteric location, c-Kit positive staining, and ramified morphology. Donor-derived ICCs in the myenteric plexus contributed to a percentage ranging of all the ICCs in the myenteric plexus. In conclusion, here we described that donor-derived BMDCs might differentiate into gastrointestinal ICCs after radiation injury, which provided an alternative source for the origin of the ICCs in the muscular plexus of adult intestine. These results further identified the plasticity of BMDCs and indicated therapeutic implications of BMDCs for the gastrointestinal dysmotility caused by ICCs disorders.