Types of endocrine cells in the human colon and rectum

R. Buffa, C. Capella, P. Fontana, L. Usellini, E. Solcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At least four types of endocrine-like cells have been detected histochemically in the mucosa of the human colon and rectum, i.e. argentaffin cells storing 5-hydroxytryptamine (5 HT) and non-argentaffin cells reacting with glucagon, somatostatin and bovine pancreatic peptide (BPP) antibodies. Ultrastructurally, four main types and three rare types of endocrine-like cells have been identified. Among the former cells were: (1) argentaffin EC1 cells, known to store 5 HT and substance P, (2) poorly argyrophil L cells, corresponding to the glucagon-immunoreactive cells storing enteroglucagon or glucagon-like immunoreactivity (GL1), (3) inconstantly argyrophil F-like cells, possibly corresponding to BPP-immunoreactive cells, and (4) fairly argyrophil H cells of unknown function. Rare D cells, corresponding to somatostatin cells, N cells, corresponding to neurotensin cells, and P cells, of unknown function, have been also found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-240
Number of pages14
JournalCell & Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1978


  • Endocrine cells
  • Human colon and rectum
  • Types
  • Ultrastructure, Histochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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