Expression of intrinsic factor and pepsinogen in the rat stomach identifies a subset of parietal cells

J. S. Shao, W. Schepp, D. H. Alpers

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Morphological and functional heterogeneity of parietal cells has been thought to be due to different maturation positions within the gastric gland. Morphodynamic studies have shown that 2% of parietal cells in mice derive from a pre-neck (chief) cell precursor. Intrinsic factor (IF) and pepsinogen, markers of rat chief cells, were used to determine if these proteins identified a subset of parietal cells that might reflect origin from the pre- neck cell lineage. The zymogenic region of the rat stomach and gradient- isolated fractions enriched in parietal and chief cells were fixed in 10% buffered Formalin or in Bouin's solution. Immunostaining was performed using indirect immunoperoxidase histochemistry and double-labeled immunofluorescence with antibodies raised against human IF, pepsinogen II, and H+-K+-adenosinetriphosphatase (H+-K+-ATPase). In intact tissue, parietal (H+-K+-ATPase-positive) cells were found starting at the upper edge of the isthmus, but parietal cells positive for IF and pepsinogen were only found from just below the isthmus and neck region to the base of the gastric gland. Three to four percent of isolated parietal cells were positive for these ectopic markers. This subset of cells was also positive for H+- K+-ATPase. Thus products of rat chief cells are expressed in a subset of parietal cells. The percentage of positive cells is similar to that predicted to be derived from the pre-neck (chief) precursor lineage in the mouse. The distribution of these cells to the lower neck and base of the gland suggests that the expression of chief cell products is consistent with either predetermination by lineage or parietal cell maturation or with both processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G62-G70
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1 37-1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


  • Gastric glands
  • Gastric mucosal cell lineage


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