, Volume 446, Issue 4, pp 402-410
Date: 24 Mar 2005

TASK-3 immunoreactivity shows differential distribution in the human gastrointestinal tract

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Abstract

The presence and distribution of TASK-3 immunopositivity (a channel with potential oncogenic significance) was investigated in the human gastrointestinal system. The immunohistochemical reactions were performed with two commercially available polyclonal antibodies, targeting different epitopes of the channel protein. Experiments conducted on frozen and formalin-fixed samples indicated that the application of a suitable antigen retrieval (AR) technique was essential to produce consistent, strong and reproducible TASK-3-specific immunolabelling of the formalin-fixed tissue. The lack of or inappropriate selection of the AR resulted in false-negative reactions. As for the distribution of the TASK-3 channels, strong immunolabelling was observed in the gastric and large intestinal mucosa, with particularly prominent immunoreactivity of the epithelial cells. In contrast, the smooth-muscle layers demonstrated weak TASK-3 positivity. Intense TASK-3 expression was noted in both the exocrine and endocrine pancreas, but the islets of Langerhans exhibited more powerful reactions. The ductal apparatus of the submandibular gland and lymphocytes situated in pericolonic lymph nodes were also TASK-3 positive. Strong TASK-3 positivity could also be observed in malignant gastrointestinal tumours, with intense nuclear-perinuclear labelling of some of the tumour cells. The present findings suggest that TASK-3 channels may have roles in the gastrointestinal functions, including insular hormone secretion.