Ultrastructure of telocytes, a new type of interstitial cells in the myocardium of the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus)
Telocytes (TCs) are new interstitial cells, and they are involved in tissue regeneration, particularly in heart. Therefore, TCs are suggested to be a promising cell in regenerative medicine. However, the information of location structural characteristics and functions of TCs is still limited. In this study, cardiac TCs of the Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) were identified by transmission electron microscopy. TCs were located in the interstitium between cardiomyocytes (CM). TCs possessed distinctive ultrastructural characteristics, including one to two very long and thin moniliform telopodes (Tps), emerging points from the cell body, caveolae, dichotomous branchings, labyrinthic systems, neighbouring exosomes and homo-cellular contacts between Tps. TCs/Tps were frequently observed in close proximity to cardiomyocytes. Moreover, Tps established hetero-cellular contacts with cardiomyocytes. Our results confirm the presence of TCs in the myocardium of the A. davidianus. This will help us to better understand roles of TCs in amphibian hearts.
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