Stromal cells participate in the murine esophageal mucosal injury response

Anisa Shaker, Jana Binkley, Isra Darwech, Elzbieta Swietlicki, Keely McDonald, Rodney Newberry, Deborah C. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We identified α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)- and vimentin-expressing spindle-shaped esophageal mesenchymal cells in the adult and neonate murine esophageal lamina propria. We hypothesized that these esophageal mesenchymal cells express and secrete signaling and inflammatory mediators in response to injury. We established primary cultures of esophageal mesenchymal cells using mechanical and enzymatic digestion. We demonstrate that these primary cultures are nonhematopoietic, nonendothelial, stromal cells with myofibroblast-like features. These cells increase secretion of IL-6 in response to treatment with acidified media and IL-1β. They also increase bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp)-4 secretion in response to sonic hedgehog. The location of these cells and their biological functions demonstrate their potential role in regulating esophageal epithelial responses to injury and repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G662-G672
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2013


  • Bone morphogenetic protein-4
  • Interleukin- 1ß
  • Interleukin-6
  • Myofibroblast


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