Identification, ultrastructure and classification of gut endocrine cells and related growths

E. Solcia, C. Capella, R. Buffa, R. Fiocca, B. Frigerio, L. Usellini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Up to 14 endocrine cell types have been identified ultrastructurally and/or histochemically in the gastroenteric mucosa. Of these gastrin (G), somatostatin (D), glucagon (A), secretin (S), CCK (I), GIP (K) and neurotensin (N) cells have been confirmed cytochemically and are considered as fully established cell types. PP and GLI cells have also been identified cytochemically. EC cells, long known ultrastructurally and as 5HT producers, are now known to produce also substance P and enkephalin. P, D 1, X and ECL cells, although ultrastructurally defined still await functional identification. At present, a precise cytological classification of endocrine-like tumours of the gut is hardly feasible. For practical purposes it seems preferable to distinguish carcinoids, either argentaffin or non-argentaffin, from true endocrine tumours of the gut (essentially gastrinomas). Non-argentaffin carcinoids will encompass a cytologically heterogeneous group of tumours, easily subdivided on simple topographic grounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalInvestigative and Cell Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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