Caustic esophageal injury decreases the number of interstitial cells of Cajal in the rat esophagus
To evaluate the effect of caustic esophageal injury (CEI) on the number of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC).
Materials and methods: Wistar rats were divided into 3 groups: control, acid, and alkali induced CEI. CEI was performed by the injection of 1 mL of 10% hypochloric acid in the acid group, and 1 mL of 10% sodium hydroxide was injected into the alkali group. Distal esophageal segments were removed 24 h after injection. CEI was graded and the number of ICC were investigated (CD-117 staining). The number of ICC was compared in groups and correlated with CEI grades.
Results: Typical histopathologic features of CEI were encountered in acid (mean grade: 0.25 ± 0.15), and in alkali (median: 2, range: 1.25-3) groups. The number of ICC was decreased in both the acid (mean: 12.8 ± 9.2) and alkali (median: 2, range: 0.0-4.0) groups with respect to the control group (mean: 30.5 ± 6.5) (P < 0.05). In addition, alkali group had a decreased number of ICC, when compared to the acid group (P < 0.05). Histopathologic grading showed an inverse correlation with number of ICC in both the acid (rs: 0.678) and alkali (rs: 0.759) groups.
Conclusion: CEI decreases the number of ICC in the rat esophagus. Alkali caustics cause a higher grade of esophageal injury and a greater decrease in the number of ICC. Motility disorders after caustic ingestion may be related to the decreased number of ICC.