Korean J Physiol Pharmacol.  2020 Mar;24(2):185-191. 10.4196/kjpp.2020.24.2.185.

Association between interstitial cells of Cajal and anti-vinculin antibody in human stomach

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon 24289, Korea. schlp@hanmail.net
  • 2Department of Pathology, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon 24289, Korea.
  • 3Kangwon National University Institute of Medical Science, Chuncheon 24289, Korea.


Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are known as the pacemaker cells of gastrointestinal tract, and it has been reported that acute gastroenteritis induces intestinal dysmotility through antibody to vinculin, a cytoskeletal protein in gut, resulting in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, so that anti-vinculin antibody can be used as a biomarker for irritable bowel syndrome. This study aimed to determine correlation between serum anti-vinculin antibody and ICC density in human stomach. Gastric specimens from 45 patients with gastric cancer who received gastric surgery at Kangwon National University Hospital from 2013 to 2017 were used. ICC in inner circular muscle, and myenteric plexus were counted. Corresponding patient's blood samples were used to determine the amount of anti-vinculin antibody by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Analysis was done to determine correlation between anti-vinculin antibody and ICC numbers. Patients with elevated anti-vinculin antibody titer (above median value) had significantly lower number of ICC in inner circular muscle (71.0 vs. 240.5, p = 0.047), and myenteric plexus (12.0 vs. 68.5, p < 0.01) compared to patients with lower anti-vinculin antibody titer. Level of serum anti-vinculin antibody correlated significantly with density of ICC in myenteric plexus (r = −0.379, p = 0.01; Spearman correlation). Increased level of circulating anti-vinculin antibody was significantly correlated with decreased density of ICC in myenteric plexus of human stomach.


Gastrointestinal motility; Interstitial cells of Cajal; Stomach; Vinculin

MeSH Terms

Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Gastrointestinal Motility
Gastrointestinal Tract
Interstitial Cells of Cajal*
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Myenteric Plexus
Stomach Neoplasms
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