Ultrastructural studies of the myenteric plexus and smooth muscle in organotypic cultures of the guinea-pig small intestine

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    External muscle and myenteric plexus from the small intestine of adult guinea-pigs were maintained in vitro for 3 or 6 days. Myenteric neurons and smooth muscle cells from such organotypic cultures were examined at the electron-microscopic level. An intact basal lamina was found around the myenteric ganglia and internodal strands. Neuronal membranes, nuclei and subcellular organelles appeared to be well preserved in cultured tissues and ribosomes were abundant. Dogiel type-II neurons were distinguishable by their elongated electron-dense mitochondria, numerous lysosomes and high densities of ribosomes. Vesiculated nerve profiles contained combinations of differently shaped vesicles. Synaptic membrane specializations were found between vesiculated nerve profiles and nerve processes and cell bodies. The majority of nerve fibres were well preserved in the myenteric ganglia, in internodal strands and in bundles running between circular muscle cells. No detectable changes were found in the ultrastructure of the somata and processes of glial cells. Longitudinal and circular muscle cells from cultured tissue had clearly defined membranes with some close associations with neighbouring muscle cells. Caveolae occurred in rows that ran parallel to the long axis of the muscle cells. These results indicate that the ultrastructural features of enteric neurons and smooth muscle of the guinea-pig small intestine are well preserved in organotypic culture.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)627-637
    Number of pages11
    JournalCell and Tissue Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995


    • Guinea-pig
    • Intestine, small
    • Myenteric plexus
    • Organotypic culture
    • Smooth muscle
    • Ultrastructure


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrastructural studies of the myenteric plexus and smooth muscle in organotypic cultures of the guinea-pig small intestine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this