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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Enterochromaffin (EC-) cells of the mammalian gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) endocrine system: cellular source of pro-dynorphin-derived peptides.

It has long been disputed whether mammalian enterochromaffin (EC-) cells contain a peptide in addition to serotonin. Previous immunohistochemical studies have provided evidence for the presence of enkephalins in EC-cells. These findings, however, are equivocal. Therefore, the problem of opioid peptides in EC-cells has been re-examined in the gastro-intestinal mucosa of dog, guinea-pig and man. A battery of antisera against derivatives of pro-opiomelanocortin, pro-enkephalin and pro-dynorphin have been applied to semithin serial sections of the tissues, in combination with fluorescence histochemistry and serotonin immunocytochemistry. Our findings indicate that EC-cells of the investigated species contain pro-dynorphin-related peptides, i.e. dynorphin A and alpha-neo-endorphin, but no derivatives from pro-opiomelanocortin or pro-enkephalin. Since remarkable interspecies variations occur with respect to the number and staining characteristics of opioid immunoreactive EC-cells, it is concluded that pro-dynorphin shows specific routes of post-translational processing depending upon the species and the gastro-intestinal segment investigated. Future studies should focus on the mutual relationships between serotonin and dynorphins and on the physiological significance of these peptides in the gastrointestinal tract.[1]


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