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Dedifferentiation of enterochromaffin-like cells in gastric cancer of hypergastrinemic cotton rats

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Fossmark R, Zhao CM, Martinsen TC, Kawase S, Chen D, Waldum HL. Dedifferentiation of enterochromaffin-like cells in gastric cancer of hypergastrinemic cotton rats. APMIS 2005;113:436–49.

The role of enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells in gastric carcinogenesis is not fully understood. Spontaneous tumours developing in hypergastrinemic female cotton rats have an adenocarcinoma phenotype, but numerous cells in the dysplastic mucosa as well as in the carcinomas are positive for neuroendocrine markers. In the present study of female cotton rats with 2 and 8 months' hypergastrinemia, the oxyntic mucosa of the stomach was examined histologically and immunolabelled for histidine decarboxylase (HDC) and pancreastatin, and hyperplastic and neoplastic ECL cells were evaluated by electron microscopy. These animals developed hyperplasia of the oxyntic mucosa in general and of the ECL cells in particular after 2 months and dysplasia and carcinomas after 8 months. The immunoreactivity of the ECL cells in the oxyntic mucosa was increased at 2 months and declined at 8 months. These histological changes were associated with progressive loss of secretory vesicles and granules in ECL cells. We suggest that ECL cells in hypergastrinemic cotton rats dedifferentiate with time and that the gastric carcinomas may develop from ECL cells.
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Keywords: ECL cell; Gastrin; dedifferentiation; neuroendocrine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Experimental Animals, Hokkaido Institute of Public Health, Sapporo, Japan 2: Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology,

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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