Why is cyclooxygenase-2 expressed in neuroendocrine cells of the human alimentary tract?


Second Department of Pathology, Gunma University School of Medicine. 3–39–22 Showa-machi. Maebashi, Gunma 371 Japan Email: nakajirna@newes.sb.gunma-u.ac.jp


During immunohistochemical studies of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) on human coion cancers, many strong COX-2-immunoreactive cells scattered in the bottom of the crypt of normal coion mucosa were unexpectedly noticed. COX-2-immunoreactive cells were morphologically very similar to neuroendocrine cells and were confirmed immunohistochemically to be positive for chromogranin A or serotonin. Moreover, COX-2-immunoreactive neuroendocrine cells were observed not only in the large intestine, but also in the stomach, duodenum and small intestine. The role of COX-2 expression in neuroendocrine cells of the human alimentary tract was speculated.