Introduction Voltage-operated Ca2+ channels Non-selective cation channels Cl- channels [Ca2+]i oscillations Intracellular Ca2+ release channels ICC-like cells in auxiliary digestive organs A considerable body of evidence has revealed that interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), identified with c-Kit-immunoreactivity, act as gut pacemaker cells, with spontaneous Ca2+ activity in ICC as the probable primary mechanism. Namely, intracellular (cytosolic) Ca2+ oscillations in ICC periodically activate plasmalemmal Ca2+-dependent ion channels and thereby generate pacemaker potentials. This review will, thus, focus on Ca2+-associated mechanisms in ICC in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including auxiliary organs.
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