Background & Aims: The megacystis-microcolon-intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome (MMIHS) is a rare disease of childhood that presents early with intestinal hypoperistalsis, hydronephrosis, and hydroureters. Transgenic mice that lack the α3 subunit containing nicotinic acetylcholine (nAChR) have a phenotype similar to that of MMIHS. Methods: We examined the expression of this subunit in control and MMIHS tissue derived from patients using in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunocyto-chemistry (ICC). Results: In controls, both techniques showed a wide distribution of α3 nAChRs present in ganglion cells, muscle, and epithelium. By contrast, most MMIHS tissue gave negative staining with ISH and variable results with ICC. Conclusions: These observations are consistent with a lack of α3 nAChRs contributing to the pathogenesis of MMIHS.
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