Characterization of the endocrine cells in the pancreatic-bile duct system of the rat

Authors

  • In-Sun Park,

    1. Department of Anatomy, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Dr. Moïse Bendayan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • Département d'anatomie, Université de Montréal, C. P. 6128, Succ. A, Montréal (Québec), Canada H3C 3J7
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Abstract

Six types of endocrine cells showing immunolabelling against gut or pancreatic islet hormones were identified in the pancreatic-bile duct system of the normal adult rat at the light and electron microscopic levels. They were located within the epithelial lining of the duct system from the intercalated portion to its duodenal opening. However, the distribution and frequency of each endocrine cell varied along the length of the duct system. While insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide cells were widely distributed along the entire duct system, small numbers of cholecystokinin and serotonin cells were confined to the terminal portion. A considerable number of somatostatin cells were concentrated in gland-like pouches of the terminal portion of the common pancreatic-bile duct. When the accessory pancreatic duct was present, insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin cells were also found in its epithelial lining. Electron microscopically, the specific content of the secretory granules of all endocrine cells was confirmed by immunolabelling or cytochemical staining. Further the characteristics of the secretory granules of each endocrine cell type corresponded to those present in the same kind of endocrine cells in gut or pancreatic islet. The duct endocrine cells displayed a particular ultrastructural appearance. The “open type cells” were highly polarized, with their apical cytoplasmic process reaching the duct lumen, whereas “closed type cells” showed long basal cytoplasmic processes with no connection with the duct lumen. In general, insulin, and somatostatin cells were of the “open type,” while no morphological connection with the duct lumen was found for glucagon and pancreatic polypeptide cells. The presence of various duct endocrine cells with their particular ultrastructural appearance implies that they may take part in modulating the function of the duct system.

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