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Histochemistry. 1991;95(4):383-90.

Immunohistochemical demonstration of villin in the normal human pancreas and in chronic pancreatitis.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University Marburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Human pancreatic tissue was investigated by immunohistochemistry using a polyclonal antibody against the actin binding protein villin, which participates in the formation of actin filament bundles in the microvilli. In cells of the different parts of the pancreatic duct system as well as in the acinar cells villin immunoreactivity was located mainly at the apical cell surface. This was confirmed by the ultrastructural demonstration of microvilli on the surface of duct and acinar cells, which exhibited the typical actin bundles. In chronic pancreatitis the staining for villin in duct-like structures of degenerative pancreatic tissue was irregular or even absent. This correlated with the electron microscopic observation of duct-like structures known as tubular complexes composed of cells devoid of microvilli at the apical cell surface. At the light microscopical level degenerative structures without lumen and of unknown origin showed a strong staining for villin at their basal cell surface.

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