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Microsc Res Tech. 2000 Mar 1;48(5):258-71.

Classification of gastric endocrine cells at the light and electron microscopical levels.

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Istituto di Anatomia ed Istologia Patologica, Università di Parma, I-43100 Parma, Italy.


This review discusses the current concepts for the classification of gastric endocrine cells subdivided according to the type of mucosa in which they are located. In the oxyntic mucosa, the most important cell type is the ECL cell, involved in the synthesis and secretion of histamine. Proteins involved in many aspects of the biology of ECL cells including the response to the gastrin stimulus, membrane transport and docking, prevention of apoptosis, calcium homeostasis, autocrine activity, and maintenance of the differentiated cell phenotype have been localized to this cell type. Other cells of the oxyntic mucosa include: the D and EC cells producing somatostatin and serotonin, respectively, delivered through long cell processes; the X (or A-like) cells, possibly producing endothelin; and the D(1) and P cells of unknown function and possibly representing morphological variants of other cell types. In the antral mucosa, the three important cell types are represented by: the gastrin-producing G cells; the somatostatin-producing D cells, which are anatomically and functionally associated with G cells; and the serotonin-producing EC cells, which are located at the bottom of antral glands.

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