Endocrine cells of the human gastric mucosa

Gabriele Vassallo, Carlo Capella, Enrico Solcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By light and electron microscopy investigation of the human gastric mucosa five types of ultrastructurally different endocrine cells have been detected: 5-hydroxytryptamine storing enterochromaffin (EC) cells, gastrin storing G cells, and functionally undefined ECL, D and D1 cells. By direct application of Masson's argentaffin reaction as well as of Sevier-Munger's and Grimelius' argyrophil method to electron microscopy specimens, selective deposition of silver grains upon the endocrine granules of such cells was obtained. In particular, only EC cell granules reacted to the argentaffin method, granules of both EC and ECL cells heavily reacted to Sevier-Munger's technique, granules of EC, ECL, G and D1 cells reacted to Grimelius' technique, while D cell granules failed to react either to argentaffin or argyrophil methods. By the application of the same silver methods to paraffin sections as well as by other selective staining methods for endocrine granules (5-hydroxytryptamine techniques, lead-haematoxylin, HCl-basic dye method), at least four of the above cell types were also identified under light microscope. This opens the way for extensive studies of such cells in conventional histologie specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-67
Number of pages19
JournalZeitschrift für Zellforschung und Mikroskopische Anatomie
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1971


  • Argyrophil cells
  • Cytochemistry
  • Enterochromaffin cells
  • Gastrointestinal hormones
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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