Tritiated thymidine autoradiographic study on cellular migration in the gastric gland of the golden hamster

Cell Tissue Res. 1976 Sep 14;172(2):171-84. doi: 10.1007/BF00226025.


Ten hamsters received repeated injections of 3H-thymidine for 4 days and were allowed to survive for 7, 28, 42 and 100 days. Changes in spatial distribution of the labelled cells and in labelling indices of each cell line in the gastric glands were studied at various days after 3H-thymidine, the labelled parietal cells and the mucous neck cells were concentrated at the neck area. Starting from the neck area, they migrated an average of 3 micra downwards per day. By 42 days, they reached the middle level of the glands, where the labelled mucous neck cells decreased but the labelled chief cells increased in number. The differentiation of the chief cell then appears to take place at the middle level of the glands through transformation of the migratory mucous neck cells. After 4 days of the labelling, about 1.8% of the chief cells located in the lower part of the glands was found to undergo in situ replication. This indicates that the renewal of this cell type is partly assured by its own mitotic activity. The foveolar cell--the future surface epithelium--seems to migrate upwards along the long axis of the glandular tubule in the pipe line system, which means "first produced, first migrates". After migrating out from the neck area, the parietal cell and the mucous neck cell (the future chief cell) take an average of 200 days to reach the lower end of the glands. In the process of migration, however, the cells produced contemporaneously at the neck area became scatteringly spread from the neck towards the bottom of the gland. The time required for the newly-formed cells to reach the lower end of the gland varied between 100 and 300 days. In the gastric glands the cells first produced at the neck area do not first reach the lower end of the glands. This mode of random migration is referred to as the "stochastic flow system". As one of the probable factors which disturb the pipe line flow of downward cell migration, cellular movements perpendicular to the long axis of the glandular tubule were suggested to occur at random at any level of the gastric glands.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoradiography
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Cricetinae
  • Gastric Mucosa / cytology*
  • Male
  • Regeneration