Inherent rhythmcity and interstitial cells of Cajal in a frog vein

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Abstract

Interstitial cells of Cajal are responsible for rhythmic contractions of the musculature of the gastrointestinal tract and blood vessels. The existence of these cells and spontaneous rhythmicity were noticed in amphibian vein and the findings are reported in this paper. The postcaval vein was identified in the frog, Rana tigrina and was perfused with amphibian Ringer solution after isolation. Contractile activity was recorded through a tension transducer connected to a polygraph. The isolated postcaval vein showed spontaneous rhythmic activity. Addition of cold Ringer solution decreased, while warm Ringer increased, the rate of contraction. Adrenaline caused inhibition of rhythmic activity at a dosage that increased the rate of isolated sinus venosus. Sections of the postcaval vein, when stained supravitally with methylene blue, showed the presence of interstitial cells of Cajal. Photic stimulation of the vein in the presence of methylene blue led to a significant decrease in the rate of spontaneous beating of the vein. These findings indicate that the postcaval vein of frog is capable of inherent rhythmcity, which is dependent on the interstitial cells of Cajal but is independent of the sinus venosus.

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