This study has investigated the patterns of colocalisation of the conventional K cell marker, glucagon-like insulinotropic peptide (GIP), and the L cell markers, glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY), in enteroendocrine cells (EEC) of the small intestine and colon of mouse and pig. All combinations of the hormones, 3 in a cell, 2 in a cell and 1 at a time, were encountered. In both species, the three most common EEC types contained (1) both GLP-1 and PYY but not GIP, (2) GLP-1 alone or (3) GIP plus GLP-1 without PYY. Few GIP plus PYY cells and rare cells containing all 3 hormones were encountered. Gradients of cell types occurred along the intestine. For example, in mouse, there were no PYY cells in the duodenum and few in the jejunum, but >50 % of labelled EEC in the distal ileum and colon were PYY immunoreactive. By contrast, over 40 % of EEC in the pig duodenum contained PYY, and most also contained either GLP-1 or GIP. The gradient in pig was less pronounced. It is concluded that the traditional classification of K and L cells requires revision, and that there are major inter-species differences in the patterns of colocalisation of hormones that have been used to characterise K and L cells.
L cells K cells Gastrointestinal hormones Glucagon-like insulinotropic peptide Glucagon like peptide Peptide YY
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This work was supported by funding from Pancosma, SA. We thank Professor Frank Dunshea and Maree Cox of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences for supplying intestinal samples from pigs. We utilised facilities of the Australian Phenomics Network Histopathology and Organ Pathology Service, University of Melbourne.
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