Cellular distribution of vesicular monoamine transporters (VMATs), known to regulate vesicular storage and release of biogenic amines (i.e., catecholamines, serotonin, histamine, etc.), have been studied in the rat stomach using in situ hybridization histochemistry (ISHH) and immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques. 35S-UTP labeled riboprobes showed that mRNAs of both VMATs are expressed in the gastric mucosa. A combination of ISHH and IHC verified that most of the parietal cells (among other epithelial cells) express mRNA of the peripheral type transporter (VMAT1) while enterochromaffin-like cells (ECL) of the fundic mucosa express mRNA of the central type (VMAT2). In addition, with double fluorescent IHC we detected VMAT1 protein in serotoninergic enterochromaffin cells (EC) of the stomach and in gastrin producing G cells of the antral mucosa. Similarly to the fundus, VMAT2 protein was present in ECL cells and in the enteric plexus. Surprisingly, serotonin- and/or histamine-containing cells in the connective tissue compartments of the stomach (i.e., lamina propria and submucosa), immunoreactive for a mast cell specific antigen, displayed neither VMAT1 nor VMAT2 immunoreactivity. Distribution of VMATs in the rat stomach support our previous observations on aminergic properties of two important gastrointestinal (GI) epithelial cell populations primarily known for other specific secretory products, i.e. dopaminergic properties of acid producing parietal cells and histaminergic properties of gastrin producing G cells. These data emphasize the existence of a non-neuronal, intrinsic aminergic system in the GI tract. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)