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Annu Rev Physiol. 2003;65:371-82. Epub 2002 May 1.

Physiology of gastric enterochromaffin-like cells.

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1
II. Medizinische Klinik, Technische Universität München, D-81675 München, Germany. Christian.Prinz@lrz.tum.de

Abstract

Enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells are neuroendocrine cells in the gastric mucosa that control acid secretion by releasing histamine as a paracrine stimulant. The antral hormone gastrin and the neural messenger pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) potently stimulate histamine synthesis, storage, and secretion by ECL cells. Histamine is stored in secretory vesicles via V-type ATPases and vesicular monoamine transporters of subtype 2 (VMAT-2). Plasmalemmal calcium entry occurs via L-type calcium channels upon stimulation with secretagogues. K(+) and Cl(-) channels maintain the membrane potential. Calcium-triggered exocytosis of histamine is mediated by interacting SNARE proteins, especially by synaptobrevin and SNAP-25. Dynamins and amphiphysins appear to play a key role in endocytosis. ECL cells are under transcriptional control of various hormones. Gastrin stimulates transcriptional activity of the histidine decarboxylase (HDC), VMAT-2, and chromogranin A promoter by activation of Sp1 elements and CREB. During chronic Helicobacter pylori infection, pro-inflammatory cytokines are released that can also affect ECL cells, thus impairing their secretory function and viability, which can predispose to hypochlorhydria and gastric carcinogenesis.

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