Virchows Archiv

, Volume 430, Issue 2, pp 117–124 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical localization of acidic fibroblast growth factor in normal human enterochromaffin cells and related gastrointestinal tumours

  • Stefano La Rosa
  • Anna Maria Chiaravalli
  • Carlo Capella
  • Silvia Uccella
  • Fausto Sessa
Original Article


Acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) is a member of the structurally related heparin-binding growth factor family. The best studied members of this family are aFGF and basic FGF (bFGF), which are potent mitogens and differentiation factors for mesodermderived cells, including fibroblasts. This study was designed to verify the immunohistochemical expression of aFGF in normal human endocrine cells of the gut and in related endocrine tumours. We examined normal gastrointestinal mucosa from seven different subjects and 41 gut endocrine tumours from different sites, including stomach, duodenum, and small and large intestine, using an aFGF polyclonal antibody with no cross-reactivity for bFGF. We localized aFGF in a fraction of serotonin-producing enterochromaffin (EC) cells of the normal gut, while it was absent in gastrin (G), CCK, secretin (S), somatostatin (D) and glicentin (L) cells. aFGF immunoreactivity was also expressed in serotonin producing EC cell tumours, but not in other functional types of gut endocrine neoplasms investigated, including gastric ECL cell, duodenal somatostatin and gastrin cell, and rectal L cell tumours. A positive correlation was found between expression of aFGF and the amount of tumour fibrous stroma, suggesting that aFGF may be involved in proliferation and activity of stromal fibroblasts.

Key words

Acidic fibroblast growth factor Gastrointestinal endocrine tumours Carcinoid tumours Immunohistochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano La Rosa
    • 1
  • Anna Maria Chiaravalli
    • 2
  • Carlo Capella
    • 1
  • Silvia Uccella
    • 1
  • Fausto Sessa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyOspedale di CircoloVareseItaly
  2. 2.Servizio di Anatomia PatologicaOspedale MultizonaleVareseItaly

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