Cellular localization of kallistatin and tissue kallikrein in human pancreas and salivary glands

Histochem Cell Biol. 1998 Nov;110(5):477-84. doi: 10.1007/s004180050309.


The tissue kallikrein-kinin system contributes to the regulation of local blood flow, vascular permeability, inflammatory responses, and ion transport. Tissue kallikrein is a serine proteinase which produces vasoactive kinin peptides. Kallistatin specifically binds to tissue kallikrein and inhibits its proteolytic activity. To investigate their anatomical relationship in the human pancreas and salivary glands, the expression and localization of kallistatin and tissue kallikrein were identified by immunoassays, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization histochemistry. Human kallistatin and tissue kallikrein levels were measured by ELISA and radioimmunoassay, respectively, in pancreatic and salivary tissue extracts, and in pancreatic fluid and saliva. Immunoreactive kallistatin and kallikrein were colocalized in acinar cells of the human pancreas by immunohistochemistry. In situ hybridization histochemistry confirmed the presence of both mRNAs in pancreatic acini. In salivary glands, kallistatin and kallikrein mRNAs were also colocalized in serous acinar cells, and the kallikrein transcript was further localized to striated and interlobular ducts. Immunoreactive kallistatin was localized in serous acinar and demilune cells of salivary glands and kallikrein was localized to the epithelium of striated and interlobular ducts. The colocalization and/or coexpression of human tissue kallikrein and kallistatin in the pancreas and salivary glands suggest a role for kallistatin in the regulation of tissue kallikrein in these organs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Kallikreins / metabolism*
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Salivary Glands / metabolism*
  • Serpins / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Serpins
  • kallistatin
  • Kallikreins