Journal of Molecular Histology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 63–73 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical characterization of brush cells in the rat larynx

  • Yoshio YamamotoEmail author
  • Yuko Ozawa
  • Takuya Yokoyama
  • Nobuaki Nakamuta
Original Paper


The immunohistochemical characteristics of brush cells in the laryngeal mucosa were examined using immunohistochemistry for various immunohistochemical cell markers including villin at the light and electron microscopic levels. Cells that were immunoreactive to villin were barrel-shaped with thick cytoplasmic processes extending toward the lumen of the laryngeal cavity. Immunoelectron microscopic observations revealed thick and short microvilli with long rootlets of microfilaments. Numerous small clear vesicles and small finger-like cytoplasmic processes were observed in the apical process and lateral membrane, respectively. Double immunofluorescence showed villin-immunoreactive cells were not immunoreactive for the markers of solitary chemosensory cells, GNAT3 and phospholipase C, β2-subunit (PLCβ2), or for that of neuroendocrine cells, synaptosome-associated protein 25kD. Furthermore, immunoreactivities for cytokeratin 18 (CK18) and doublecortin like-kinase 1 in the perinuclear cytoplasm of villin-immunoreactive cells. However, some CK18-immunoreactive cells were immunoreactive to GNAT3 but not to villin. Regarding sensory innervation, only a few intraepithelial nerve endings with P2X3, SP, or CGRP immunoreactivity attached to villin-immunoreactive cells. In the present study, brush cells in the rat laryngeal mucosa were classified by immunoreactivity for villin, and were independent of other non-ciliated epithelial cells such as solitary chemosensory cells and neuroendocrine cells.


Brush cells Villin Immunohistochemistry Electron microscopy Larynx Rat 



The authors are grateful to Ms. Eri Ishiyama, Technical Support Center for Life Science Research, Iwate Medical University for her technical support with the EM study. This work was supported by the JSPS KAKENHI: Grant Number 15K07759 (YY) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Japan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest with regard to the content of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoshio Yamamoto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yuko Ozawa
    • 1
  • Takuya Yokoyama
    • 2
  • Nobuaki Nakamuta
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Veterinary Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of AgricultureIwate UniversityMoriokaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy (Cell Biology)Iwate Medical UniversityYahabaJapan

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