Localization of glucagon-like peptide (GLP) immunoreactants in human gut and pancreas using light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry

J Histochem Cytochem. 1985 Oct;33(10):1080-6. doi: 10.1177/33.10.3900195.


The distribution of peptide immunoreactivities predicted from the sequence of the human preproglucagon gene in enteroglucagon (EG; glicentin-like immunoreactant-containing) cells of the human gut and A cells of the pancreas has been determined by light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. At light microscopy the application of peroxidase-antiperoxidase and immunogold-silver staining methods has revealed that glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1 and GLP-2) immunoreactivities coexist with a glicentin-related immunodeterminant in human colorectal EG cells and pancreatic A cells. Using single and double colloidal gold probe electron immunocytochemistry, we have been able to show the coexistence of glicentin, GLP-1, and GLP-2 immunoreactivities within single EG cell secretory granules. No morphologic segregation of the proglucagon immunoreactants was observed in EG cells of the colonic mucosa. In pancreatic A cells we have localized GLP-1, GLP-2, and glucagon-[16-29] immunoreactivities solely to the electron-dense core of the secretory granules, whereas glicentin-related immunoreactivity was restricted to the electron-lucent halo. The results obtained in the present study have shown that the peptide immunoreactivities predicted from cDNA sequencing of the human preproglucagon gene are indeed expressed in colorectal EG and pancreatic A cells. The topographical segregation of immunoreactivities in the A cell secretory granule shows that antigenic determinants derived from the C-terminal portion of proglucagon are stored with glucagon in the core of the secretory granule.

MeSH terms

  • Colon / analysis
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / analysis
  • Glucagon / analysis
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Gold
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Intestines / analysis*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Pancreas / analysis*
  • Peptides / analysis*
  • Proglucagon
  • Protein Precursors / analysis
  • Rectum / analysis


  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 2
  • Peptides
  • Protein Precursors
  • Proglucagon
  • Gold
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucagon