Neurohormonal regulation of histamine and pancreastatin secretion from isolated rat stomach ECL cells

Regul Pept. 1997 Aug 15;71(2):73-86. doi: 10.1016/s0167-0115(97)01018-5.


ECL cells are numerous in the acid-producing part of the rat stomach. They are rich in histamine and pancreastatin, a chromogranin A-derived peptide, and they secrete these products in response to gastrin. We have examined how isolated ECL cells respond to a variety of neuromessengers and peptide hormones. Highly purified (85%) ECL cells were collected from rat stomach using repeated counter-flow elutriation and cultured for 48 h before experiments were conducted. The ECL cells responded to gastrin, sulphated cholecystokinin-8 and to high K+ and Ca2+ with the parallel secretion of histamine and pancreastatin. Glycine-extended gastrin was without effect. Forskolin, an activator of adenylate cyclase, induced secretion, whereas isobutylmethylxanthine, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, raised the basal release without enhancing the gastrin-evoked stimulation. Maximum stimulation with gastrin resulted in the release of 30% of the secretory products. Numerous neuromessengers and peptide hormones were screened for their ability to stimulate secretion and to inhibit gastrin-stimulated secretion. Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP)-27 and -38 stimulated secretion of both histamine and pancreastatin with a potency greater than that of gastrin and with the same efficacy. Related peptides, such as vasoactive intestinal peptide, helodermin and helospectin, stimulated secretion with lower potency. The combination of EC100 gastrin and EC50 PACAP produced a greater response than gastrin alone. None of the other neuropeptides or peptide hormones tested stimulated secretion. Serotonin, adrenaline, noradrenaline and isoprenaline induced moderate secretion at high concentrations. Muscarinic receptor agonists did not stimulate secretion, and histamine and selective histamine receptor agonists and antagonists were without effect. This was the case also with GABA, aspartate and glutamate. Somatostatin and galanin, but none of the other agents tested, inhibited gastrin-stimulated secretion. Our results reveal that not only gastrin but also PACAP is a powerful excitant of the ECL cells, that not only somatostatin, but also galanin can suppress secretion, that muscarinic receptor agonists fail to evoke secretion, and that histamine (and pancreastatin) does not evoke autofeedback inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromogranin A
  • Enterochromaffin-like Cells / drug effects*
  • Enterochromaffin-like Cells / metabolism
  • Enterochromaffin-like Cells / ultrastructure
  • Gastrins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Gastrins / pharmacology
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / pharmacology*
  • Histamine / pharmacology
  • Histamine Release / drug effects*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neuropeptides / pharmacology*
  • Pancreatic Hormones / metabolism*
  • Potassium / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Sincalide / pharmacology
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / pharmacology


  • Chromogranin A
  • Gastrins
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Neuropeptides
  • Pancreatic Hormones
  • Receptors, Cholecystokinin
  • pancreastatin
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
  • Histamine
  • Sincalide
  • Potassium
  • Calcium