Several connective tissue cells are present in the human bladder wall; among them, the myofibroblasts (MyF) and the so-called interstitial cells (IC) are a matter of investigation either by basic researchers or clinicians. The interest derives from the possibility that these two cell types could regulate the organ function forming a special sensory system in the bladder mucosa. Whereas attention for the myofibroblasts was mainly focused on understanding their role, the so-called IC are debatable starting from their nomenclature. Indeed, the IC should correspond to the previously called fibroblasts-like cells/interstitial Cajal-like cells (ICLC)/interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) or PDGFRα positive cells, or CD34 positive cells. Recently a proper name was proposed to give them an identity, i.e. telocyte (TC). To date, this nomenclature is a better term than IC that is quite vague and can be used for all the cells that reside in the connective tissue. Noteworthy, in the bladder mucosa, TC and MyF form a hetero-cellular 3-D network. The detrusor overactivity/overactive bladder (DO/OAB) are pathological conditions characterized by hypersensitivity to filling. It has been hypothesized that erroneous afferent inputs generated in the mucosa affect the efferent pathways and, consequently, the detrusor response. Presently, we review the literature regarding the presence and the potential role of TC and MyF in control conditions and in DO/OAB. On the possibility that the 3D-network made up by these two cell types might play a major role in the genesis of anomalous afferent stimuli will be given attention.
Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft. 2018 Apr 11 [Epub ahead of print]
Maria-Giuliana Vannucchi, Chiara Traini
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Research Unit of Histology and Embryology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy. Electronic address: ., Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Research Unit of Histology and Embryology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.