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Folia Medica  2010 

Serotonin-Producing Cells in Human Gastric Mucosa - Immunohistochemical and Electron Microscopic Study

DOI: 10.2478/v10153-010-0044-8

Keywords: serotonin, EC cells, gastric mucosa, gastrointestinal tract

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The great many hormones released by the endocrine cells of the glands and lining epithelium of gastric mucosa determine its significance for the processes in the gastrointestinal tract. One of these hormones, serotonin, plays an important role in the regulation of the motility, secretion and sensation in the gastrointestinal tract. The aim of the present study was to conduct immunohistochemical and electron micro-scopic studies of serotonin-producing EC cell of gastric mucosa. Material and methods: Gastric mucosa biopsies were obtained and studied immunihistochemically for serotonin expression in the mucosa endocrine cells. Electron microscopic study was performed to specify the processes of synthesis, accumulation and release of secretory product by those cells. Results: The immunohistochemical study revealed a considerable number of serotonin-containing EC cells scattered in the lining epithelium and between the glands in the corpus and pyloric region of the stomach. The electron microscopic study followed the stages of formation of the secretory granules from the initial accumulation of granular substance, its membrane packing and formation of mature granules to their disintegration in the secretory process. Conclusions: Serotonin as a neurotransmitter and gastrointestinal hormone appears to be a key to understanding a number of symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders like nausea, vomiting, pain, diarrhea and constipation. A detailed study of serotonin functions in the gastrointestinal tract realised through different types of receptors, and of the development of specific antagonists and agonists to these receptors would open up new opportunities for a more efficient treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.


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