The pacemaking cells in the gastrointestinal tract — structure-function relationships

Electrical slow action potentials named slow waves are generated by the specialized pacemaking cells present within the gastrointestinal wall. This phenomenon is the basis for the so-called miogenic control of motor activity and the aforementioned cells are identified as the interstitial cells of Cajal. However, the pacemaking function is ascribed solely to the cells of type I and IV, while the cells of types II, III and also of type IV are believed to conduct the electrical signals from the intramural ganglionic neurons to the smooth muscle cells.

Family of trefoil peptides

The trefoil family of peptides is mainly associated with gastrointestinal tract. These peptides protect the mucous layer. The protective role of trefoil peptides is explained by their interaction with carbohydrates attached to mucin glycoproteins and by maintenance of the mucus structure. Trefoil peptides influence migration of epithelial cells and thus contribute to regeneration of the mucous layer. A correlation between trefoil peptides and oncogenesis remains unclear.

The Editorial Board
Andrzej Łukaszyk - przewodniczący, Zofia Bielańska-Osuchowska, Szczepan Biliński, Mieczysław Chorąży, Aleksander Koj, Włodzimierz Korochoda, Leszek Kuźnicki, Aleksandra Stojałowska, Lech Wojtczak

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