Caustic esophageal injury decreases the number of interstitial cells of Cajal in the rat esophagus


Abstract: To evaluate the effect of caustic esophageal injury (CEI) on the number of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC). Materials and methods: Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups: control, acid, and alkali induced CEI. CEI was performed by the injection of 1 mL of 10% hypochloric acid in the acid group, and 1 mL of 10% sodium hydroxide was injected into the alkali group. Distal esophageal segments were removed 24 h after injection. CEI was graded and the number of ICC were investigated (CD-117 staining). The number of ICC was compared in groups and correlated with CEI grades. Results: Typical histopathologic features of CEI were encountered in acid (mean grade: 0.25 ± 0.15), and in alkali (median: 2, range: 1.25-3) groups. The number of ICC was decreased in both the acid (mean: 12.8 ± 9.2) and alkali (median: 2, range: 0.0-4.0) groups with respect to the control group (mean: 30.5 ± 6.5) (P < 0.05). In addition, alkali group had a decreased number of ICC, when compared to the acid group (P < 0.05). Histopathologic grading showed an inverse correlation with number of ICC in both the acid (rs: 0.678) and alkali (rs: 0.759) groups. Conclusion: CEI decreases the number of ICC in the rat esophagus. Alkali caustics cause a higher grade of esophageal injury and a greater decrease in the number of ICC. Motility disorders after caustic ingestion may be related to the decreased number of ICC.

Keywords: Caustic esophageal injury, interstitial cells of Cajal, esophagus

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