Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology / 1996 / Article

Pathophysiology - Symptom Generation | Open Access

Volume 10 |Article ID 570782 |

Stephen M Collins, Islam Khan, Bruce Vallance, Cory Hogaboam, Giovanni Barbara, "Role of Smooth Muscle in Intestinal Inflammation", Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 10, Article ID 570782, 5 pages, 1996.

Role of Smooth Muscle in Intestinal Inflammation


The notion that smooth muscle function is altered in inflammation is prompted by clinical observations of altered motility in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While altered motility may reflect inflammation-induced changes in intrinsic or extrinsic nerves to the gut, changes in gut hormone release and changes in muscle function, recent studies have provided in vitro evidence of altered muscle contractility in muscle resected from patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. In addition, the observation that smooth muscle cells are more numerous and prominent in the strictured bowel of IBD patients compared with controls suggests that inflammation may alter the growth of intestinal smooth muscle. Thus, inflammation is associated with changes in smooth muscle growth and contractility that, in turn, contribute to important symptoms of IBD including diarrhea (from altered motility) and pain (via either altered motility or stricture formation). The involvement of smooth muscle in this context may be as an innocent bystander, where cells and products of the inflammatory process induce alterations in muscle contractility and growth. However, it is likely that intestinal muscle cells play a more active role in the inflammatory process via the elaboration of mediators and trophic factors, including cytokines, and via the production of collagen. The concept of muscle cells as active participants in the intestinal inflammatory process is a new concept that is under intense study. This report summarizes current knowledge as it relates to these two aspects of altered muscle function (growth and contractility) in the inflamed intestine, and will focus on mechanisms underlying these changes, based on data obtained from animal models of intestinal inflammation.

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.

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