Identification of glucagon-producing cells (A cells) in dog gastric mucosa

D. Baetens, C. Rufener, B. C. Srikant, R. Dobbs, Roger H Unger, L. Orci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


An immunocytochemical technique using specific antiglucagon serum reveals the presence of glucagon-containing cells situated exclusively in the oxyntic glandular mucosa of the dog stomach. Electron microscope examination of the mucosa demonstrated endocrine cells containing secretory granules with a round dense core surrounded by a clear hal6, indistinguishable from secretory granules of pancreatic A cells. Like the alpha granules of pancreatic A cells, the granules of these gastric endocrine cells exhibited a peripheral distribution of silver grains after Grimelius silver staining. Moreover, the granules of these cells were found to be specifically labeled with reaction product, using the peroxidase immunocytochemical technique at the ultrastructural level. Accordingly, these cells were named gastric A cells. These data suggest that the gastric oxyntic mucosa contains cells indistinguishable cytologically, cytochemically, and immunocytochemically from pancreatic A cells. It is believed that gastric A cells are responsible for the secretion of the gastric glucagon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-464
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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