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enterochromaffin-like cell

Friday 27 December 2013

enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells; ECL cells


Endocrine cells of the gastric oxyntic mucosa, and especially the enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells, are the progenitors of gastrin-promoted proliferative lesions whose tumorigenic potential largely depends on the background condition in which they arise.

ECL cells are the main neuroendocrine cells of the stomach, comprising approximately 70% of the gastric NE cells, and represent the major histamine source of the gastric mucosa.

ECL cells are located in the body/fundic glands, in the basal third of the glands in close proximity with the parietal cells.

The histamine-synthesizing enzyme (histidine decarboxylase, HDC) can be identified within ECL cells; they also have CCK receptors on their surface that bind gastrin at physiological dosages, which, in turn, activates HDC resulting in histamine synthesis and secretion.

The released histamine is a potent stimulant of hydrochloric acid secretion, exerting a direct stimulatory effect on H2 receptors of the parietal cells. The feedback loop is completed by the inhibitory effect exerted by the released hydrochloric acid on the antral G cells, probably via a somatostatin-regulated mechanism.


- enterochromaffin-like cell hyperplasia
- gastric neuroendocrine tumors