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Types of endocrine cells in the human colon and rectum

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At least four types of endocrine-like cells have been detected histochemically in the mucosa of the human colon and rectum, i.e. argentaffin cells storing 5-hydroxytryptamine (5 HT) and non-argentaffin cells reacting with glucagon, somatostatin and bovine pancreatic peptide (BPP) antibodies. Ultrastructurally, four main types and three rare types of endocrine-like cells have been identified. Among the former cells were: (1) argentaffin EC1 cells, known to store 5 HT and substance P, (2) poorly argyrophil L cells, corresponding to the glucagon-immunoreactive cells storing enteroglucagon or glucagon-like immunoreactivity (GL1), (3) inconstantly argyrophil F-like cells, possibly corresponding to BPP-immunoreactive cells, and (4) fairly argyrophil H cells of unknown function. Rare D cells, corresponding to somatostatin cells, N cells, corresponding to neurotensin cells, and P cells, of unknown function, have been also found.

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Correspondence to Dr. E. Solcia.

Additional information

Supported in part by the Italian National Research Council (Grant N. 76.01558.04)

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Buffa, R., Capella, C., Fontana, P. et al. Types of endocrine cells in the human colon and rectum. Cell Tissue Res. 192, 227–240 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00220741

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Key words

  • Endocrine cells
  • Human colon and rectum
  • Types
  • Ultrastructure, Histochemistry