Subepithelial myofibroblasts are located at the interface between the epithelium and lamina propria in most mucosal tissues. Their biological functions are largely unknown because a long-term cell culture model for these cells has not been available. In this report, we define the phenotypic properties of a human colonic cell line (18Co) that exhibits most of the known characteristics of intestinal subepithelial myofibroblasts in situ. These characteristics include 1) a cell shape that can be reversibly interconverted between a flattened discoid and stellate morphology, 2) intracellular organelles reminiscent of myofibroblasts and smooth muscle cells in situ, 3) expression of-smooth muscle actin, 4) plasma membrane receptors for endothelins and natriuretic peptides, and 5) regulation of epithelial sensitivity to calcium-dependent secretagogues by paracrine secretion of prostaglandins. 18Co cells provide an exploitable model to begin defining the physiological and pathophysiological functions of intestinal subepithelial myofibroblasts at the molecular level.
- epithelial-mesenchymal interactions
- natriuretic peptides
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology