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Catecholamine-containing pancreatic islet cells of the domestic fowl

Light, fluorescence and electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry

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In an attempt to identify pancreatic islet cells emitting formaldehyde-induced fluorescence (FIF), the pancreatic islets of the domestic fowl were studied by combined fluorescence, ultrastructural, silver-impregnation and immunohistochemical methods in the same section or in consecutive semi-thin and ultra-thin sections. The results indicate that islet cells emitting intense FIF exhibit a strongly argyrophil reaction with the Grimelius' silver method and also immunohistochemical reaction with anti-glucagon serum, but not with anti-5-HT serum. Therefore, the fowl islet A cell, a peptide hormone-producing cell, stores simultaneously catecholamine as biogenic amine. The islet B and D cells did not display any FIF, any argyrophil reaction with the Grimelius' silver method, or any immunoreactivity with anti-glucagon or anti-5-HT sera. The fluorescent but non-argyrophil cells dispersed in the exocrine acinus may well be PP cells.

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Correspondence to Dr. Tohru Watanabe.

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Watanabe, T., Chikazawa, H. & Yamada, J. Catecholamine-containing pancreatic islet cells of the domestic fowl. Cell Tissue Res. 237, 239–244 (1984).

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Key words

  • Islet A cell
  • Catecholamine
  • Combined microscopy
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Fowl