Light and electron microscopic identification of several types of endocrine cells in the gastrointestinal mucosa of the cat

G. Vassallo, E. Solcia, C. Capella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The following histological methods, previously proved to be useful in selective light microscopic detection of endocrine cells, were applied to the cat gastrointestinal mucosa: for the identification of biogenic amines, diazonium, ammoniacal silver and xanthydrol methods; for granules identification, methyl green-red acid dyes, toluidine blue, HCl-basic dye, lead-haematoxylin, phosphotungstic haematein and argyrophil methods. Results were compared with those of an extensive electron microscopic investigation. Five types of endocrine cells were identified in the gastric mucosa. Three types were found in the pyloric mucosa: the previously described 5-hydroxytryptamine-producing enterochromaffin cell, the gastrin producing G cell and a cell with an unknown function, labelled in this paper the X cell. Four types were found in the fundic mucosa: enterochromaffin cells (rarely observed), enterochromaffin-like cells secreting a 5-hydroxyindole but showing some ultrastructural and staining differences from true enterochromaffin cells (numerously present), A-like cells (few), resembling A cells of the pancreatic islets, and X cells, resembling those in the pyloric mucosa. In the intestinal mucosa, at least three endocrine cell types were distinguished in its duodenal part: enterochromaffin cells and two types of polypeptide-producing cells - some with smaller granules (S cells) and others with larger granules (L cells). Only two types were found in the mucosa of terminal ileum: enterochromaffin cells and numerously-occurring cells with large granules resembling in part duodenal L cells. The possibility of a relationship between S and L cells and the production respectively of the intestinal hormones secretin and cholecystokinin-pancreozymin was discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-356
Number of pages24
JournalZeitschrift für Zellforschung und Mikroskopische Anatomie
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1969

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Anatomy


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