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Pancreas. 2003 Jul;27(1):38-46.

Cellular expression and specific intragranular localization of chromogranin A, chromogranin B, and synaptophysin during ontogeny of pancreatic islet cells: an ultrastructural study.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Pathology, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden.



To get more insight into the differentiation patterns of pancreatic islet neuroendocrine cells and granules during ontogeny, the expression and localization of chromogranin A (CgA), chromogranin B (CgB), synaptophysin, and insulin were ultrastructurally studied with the immunogold technique in porcine and human pancreatic islet neuroendocrine cells.


In porcine pancreas at early fetal stage, CgA was visualized throughout the immature granules in all neuroendocrine cells. Later, CgB also was expressed with the same pattern in most granules in all types of cells. In neonatal islets, CgA was localized in the periphery of immature alpha- and beta-cell granules and throughout the matrix of delta-cell granules; CgB was distributed throughout the matrix of these granules. In adult islets, alpha-cell granules stored CgA in the halo and CgB in both the core and the halo, beta-cell granules stored both CgA and CgB in their cores, and in delta-cell granules, both substances were mixed throughout the matrix. In all ontogenetic stages, synaptophysin was demonstrated in all cell types and granules. Insulin was expressed in early fetal cells of both pigs and humans, and colocalization with CgA, CgB, and synaptophysin was demonstrated.


The early expression of CgA and synaptophysin may reflect a role at early fetal stages, and the individual localization of CgA and CgB upon differentiation indicates individual functions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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