C-Kit expression in the gallbladder of guinea pig with chronic calculous cholecystitis and the effect of Artemisia capillaris Thunb on interstitial cells of Cajal
Objective(s): To study the c-Kit expression in the gallbladder of cholesterol lithogenic guinea pig model and the effect of Artemisia capillaris Thunb on interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). Materials and Methods:A total of 45 guinea pigs were randomly assigned into three groups: the control group (guinea pigs fed a standard diet, normal group); the model group (guinea pigs fed a cholesterol gallstone-inducing diet); and the Chinese medicine group (guinea pigs fed the cholesterol gallstone-inducing diet and treated with A. capillaris through intragastric administration, therapy group). Each group had 15 guinea pigs. The gallbladders of the guinea pigs were harvested after 8 weeks. C-Kit expression was detected using an immunohistochemistry staining, real-time PCR, and Western blot analyses. The effect of A. capillaris on ICCs was evaluated by muscle strip contraction experiments. Results: C-Kit expression significantly decreased in the gallbladder of model group, but increased in the Chinese medicine group. The Contractility of guinea pig gallbladder muscle strip significantly improved in the Chinese medicine group. Conclusion: Our results indicated that A. capillaris improves gallbladder impairment by up-regulating c-Kit expression, and it also can improve the contractile response of in vitro guinea pig gallbladder muscle strips.