Mechanosensitive ion channels in interstitial cells of Cajal and smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract

R. E. Kraichely, G. Farrugia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Normal gastrointestinal (GI) motility is required to mix digestive enzymes and food and to move content along the GI tract. Underlying the complex motor patterns of the gut are electrical events that reflect ion flux across cell membranes. Smooth muscle electrical activity is directly influenced by GI interstitial cells of Cajal, whose rhythmic oscillations in membrane potential in part determine the excitability of GI smooth muscle and its response to neuronal input. Coordinated activity of the ion channels responsible for the conductances that underlie ion flux in both smooth muscle and interstitial cells is a requisite for normal motility. These conductances are regulated by many factors, including mechanical stress. Recent studies have revealed mechanosensitivity at the level of the ion channels, and the mechanosensor within the channel has been identified in many cases. This has led to better comprehension of the role of mechanosensitive conductances in normal physiology and will undoubtedly lead to understanding of the consequences of disturbances in these conductances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Calcium channel
  • Patch clamp
  • Smooth muscle
  • Sodium channel
  • Stretch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanosensitive ion channels in interstitial cells of Cajal and smooth muscle of the gastrointestinal tract'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this