Why is cyclooxygenase-2 expressed in neuroendocrine cells of the human alimentary tract?

Pathol Int. 1997 Dec;47(12):889-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.1997.tb03723.x.


During immunohistochemical studies of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) on human colon cancers, many strong COX-2-immunoreactive cells scattered in the bottom of the crypt of normal colon mucosa were unexpectedly noticed. COX-2-immunoreactive cells were morphologically very similar to neuroendocrine cells and were confirmed immunohistochemically to be positive for chromogranin A or serotonin. Moreover, COX-2-immunoreactive neuroendocrine cells were observed not only in the large intestine, but also in the stomach, duodenum and small intestine. The role of COX-2 expression in neuroendocrine cells of the human alimentary tract was speculated.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins / metabolism
  • Colonic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Digestive System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neurosecretory Systems / metabolism*
  • Peroxidases / metabolism
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Serotonin / metabolism


  • Chromogranin A
  • Chromogranins
  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Serotonin
  • Peroxidases
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases