IL-9 enhances growth of ICC, maintains network structure and strengthens rhythmicity of contraction in culture

Jing Ye, Yaohui Zhu, Waliul I. Khan, Jacques Van Snick, Jan D. Huizinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) play a critical role in the control of gastrointestinal motility as pacemaker cells and as regulators of enteric innervation. ICC are one of the first cell types that are injured during an inflammatory process and maintenance of ICC health or promotion of growth and development maybe crucial in recovery after injury. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of IL-9 in the growth, development and maintenance of ICC in culture. IL-9 in concentrations from 0.02 to 1 μg/ml promoted individual ICC growth and maintenance of the ICC network structure inside tissue explants under culture conditions. The number of ICC grown out of the explants increased significantly at day 4 of culture in the presence of 0.02, 0.5 and 1 μg/ml IL-9. In the presence of 0.5 μg/ml IL-9, explants in culture maintained a higher frequency and stabilized the frequency of spontaneous contractile activity. The ultrastructure of the ICC after 4 days in culture was similar to that in situ. Our data indicate that IL-9 promotes ICC growth in culture and it can be hypothesized that IL-9 is a critical factor in the maintenance of ICC health and ICC repair after injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-694
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Auerbach's plexus
  • Explant culture
  • Growth factor
  • IL-9
  • Interstitial cell of Cajal (ICC)
  • Myenteric plexus
  • Neurotransmission
  • Pacemaking
  • Smooth muscle cells
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'IL-9 enhances growth of ICC, maintains network structure and strengthens rhythmicity of contraction in culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this