We have localized secretin in a morphologically distinctive endocrine cell scattered in the epithelium covering the villi and uppermost crypts of the human duodenum and jejunum. The human secretin cell was characterized by relatively large (mean diameter 299 nm±69 SD), fairly irregular granules, the majority of which showed homogeneous distribution of secretin and chromogranin A immunolabelling in a structurally homogeneous core. Other granules had a targetoid pattern due to an inner, argyrophobe, secretin-immunoreactive body surrounded by an argyrophil, chromogranin A immunoreactive mantle. These targetoid granules represent a distinctive ultrastructural marker of the secretin cell. Secretin cell granules have been shown to react with chromogranin A antibodies and Grimelius' silver, while lacking chromogranin B immunoreactivity. About 1/3 of secretin cells also showed serotonin immunostaining.
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