Cholecystokinin-A and cholecystokinin-B/gastrin receptor mRNA expression in the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas of the rat and man. A polymerase chain reaction study

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1996 Apr;31(4):383-90. doi: 10.3109/00365529609006415.


Background: Gastrin and cholecystokinin (CCK) are thought to exert trophic effects on the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. Two types of receptors have been cloned, CCK-A and CCK-B/ gastrin. We have examined the occurrence of CCK-A and CCK-B receptor mRNA in the brain, digestive tract, pancreas, and kidney of the rat and man by Northern blot and reverse transcribed polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

Methods: Total RNA was isolated from rat tissues and reverse transcribed into cDNA. cDNA from brain, kidney, and pancreas of the rat and man and from human whole stomach were commercially available. Northern blot and a PCR technique based on Taq polymerase-antibody interaction and using CCK-A and CCK-B receptor-specific primers, followed by Southern blot analysis, were the methods used.

Results: By means of Northern blots, CCK-A receptor mRNA was detected in rat fundus mucosa and pancreas but not in the remaining GI tract or brain. By means of RT-PCR, CCK-A receptor mRNA was demonstrated in the brain and the mucosa of the fundus, antrum, duodenum, and colon, kidney, pancreas and pancreatic islets. CCK-B receptor mRNA was detected by Northern blot analysis in the brain and the fundus mucosa but not in the rest of the digestive tract and not in the pancreas, pancreatic islets, or kidney. By RT-PCR, expression of CCK-B receptor mRNA could also be detected in antrum mucosa. In man, CCK-A receptor mRNA was detected in the brain, stomach, pancreas, and kidney, whereas CCK-B receptor mRNA was found in the brain, stomach, and pancreas but not in the kidney. Cloning and DNA-sequence analysis of the PCR-amplified rat and human CCK-A and CCK-B receptor DNA fragments, which cover the protein-encoding regions of the intracellular loop C3, showed complete sequence homology as compared with published rat and human sequences.

Conclusions: It appears unlikely that CCK will have effects in the ileum, at least not effects mediated by CCK-A receptors. It also appears unlikely that physiologic concentrations of gastrin in the circulation will promote growth (or exert other effects) in the pancreas, duodenum, ileum, and colon, since CCK-B receptor mRNA is not expressed or is poorly expressed in these tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Brain Chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • Digestive System / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / chemistry
  • Kidney / chemistry
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pancreas / chemistry*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptor, Cholecystokinin A
  • Receptor, Cholecystokinin B
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptor, Cholecystokinin A
  • Receptor, Cholecystokinin B
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin