Ghrelin expression in gut endocrine growths

Guido Rindi, Antonella Savio, Antonio Torsello, Michele Zoli, Vittorio Locatelli, Daniela Cocchi, Donatella Paolotti, Enrico Solcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aimed to assess the occurrence of ghrelin, a new gut hormone, in endocrine growths of the stomach. In addition, since ghrelin has been detected in other gut derivatives during adult and/or fetal life, we also studied endocrine tumours of the pancreas, intestine and lung. A specific serum generated against amino acids 13-28 of ghrelin was tested on 16 specimens of gastric mucosa with endocrine cell hyperplasia and on 75 endocrine tumours. Ghrelin-immunoreactive cells were moderately represented in normal, atrophic or hypertrophic gastric mucosa, as a rule with no obvious hyperplastic changes even in the presence of concurrent, prominent enterochromaffin-like cell hyperplasia associated with hypergastrinemia. Ghrelin cells were also found in tumour cell fractions of well-differentiated gastric (25 of 33, 76%), pancreatic (6 of 15, 40%) and pulmonary (4 of 8) endocrine tumours. No ghrelin immunoreactivity was detected in 14 intestinal tumours and in five poorly differentiated endocrine carcinomas of the stomach or pancreas. We conclude that ghrelin cells may take part in gut endocrine growths, with special reference to well-differentiated endocrine tumours of the stomach, independently from associated signs of endocrine hyperfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-525
Number of pages5
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • ECL cells
  • Endocrine tumours
  • Ghrelin
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • VMAT2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Instrumentation


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