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Z Gastroenterol. 1982 Apr;20(4):187-205.

[The diffuse endocrine system and the carcinoids of the alimentary tract. Part I: Orthological aspects and common morphological features of the carcinoids (author's transl)].

[Article in German]


Carcinoids arise from the so-called system of diffuse clear cells. Because of common histochemical properties it was proposed in the APUD-concept that these endocrine cells are of neural crest origin. As for the gastrointestinal tract endocrine cells this embryological derivation is disputed. Modern methods have led to the identification of about 18 distinct cell types. - According to the different localization of these cells in the alimentary canal the carcinoids show various histological structures i.e., a solid, trabecular, adenoid, undifferentiated and mixed growth. According to the reactivity to silver salts one can distinguish argentaffin, argyrophil and argyrophobe carcinoids. Biochemically and immunohistochemically some carcinoids are multihormonal, while others show paraendocrine hormone production. Small cell anaplastic carcinomas with endocrine granules are highly malignant variants of the carcinoids. There may be a mixed endo- and exocrine (amphicrine) differentiation in normal cells and in the so-called mucicarcinoids.

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