Research Communication

Immunohistochemical studies of the enteric nervous system and interstitial cells of Cajal in the canine stomach

Colin Musara, Camille Vaillant
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 80, No 1 | a518 | DOI: | © 2013 Colin Musara, Camille Vaillant | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 September 2012 | Published: 05 March 2013

About the author(s)

Colin Musara, Department of Preclinical Veterinary Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Camille Vaillant, Department of Veterinary Preclinical Studies, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom


The distribution of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), the probable pacemakers in gastrointestinal motility, was investigated using an antigenic marker of gastric ICC known as C-Kit. Antiserum raised against the general neuronal marker protein gene peptide 9.5 (PGP) as well as the nitrergic neuronal marker neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) were used to investigate the distribution of gastric nerves. Polyclonal goat anti-human C-Kit was reliable in labelling ICC in the stomach. Two classes of ICC were identified according to their distribution: ICC-MY distributed around the periphery of myenteric ganglia and ICC-IM in the circular and longitudinal muscle layers. The neuronal marker PGP was reliably consistent in revealing the density and distribution of the enteric nervous system. Density of nerve fibres was higher in circular smooth muscle than in longitudinal smooth muscle. From nNOS immunohistochemistry, it is evident that inhibitory (nitrergic) nerves constitute a substantial fraction of the enteric nervous system.


Canine; stomach; interstitial cells of Cajal; enteric nervous system


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