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J Histochem Cytochem. 1997 Jun;45(6):815-22.

Complex co-localization of chromogranins and neurohormones in the human gastrointestinal tract.

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Department of Pathology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


Co-localization of chromogranin (Cg) A, B, and C has been studied in different neuroendocrine cell types in histologically normal mucosa from human gastrointestinal tract (corpus, antrum, duodenum, ileum, and colon) using single-, double-, and triple-immunofluorescence stainings. Virtually all enterochromaffin (EC) cells contained CgA, and those in the luminal two thirds of the antral mucosa and villi of small intestine often also contained CgB. A few EC cells in the duodenal crypts contained CgC. Most gastrin cells harbored both CgB and CgA, although rather more CgB than CgA, but some gastrin cells contained all three types, i.e., also CgC. Some CCK cells also contained all three chromogranins. Enteroglucagon cells in the duodenal villi contained CgA and some CgB. CgA (but not B or C) was found in some secretin, GIP, enteroglucagon/peptide YY, and neurotensin cells. A few somatostatin cells contained CgA but neither CgB nor CgC. CgA and C were found mainly in the basal cell region, whereas CgB occurred more diffusely throughout the cytoplasm. This varying distribution suggests that not all secretory granules contain CgA, or that CgB may occur in a nongranular form. The varying composition of the different chromogranins may reflect their complex functional roles in the widespread neuroendocrine system.

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