The Histochemical Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 587–590 | Cite as

Carbonic anhydrase is present in human oesophageal epithelium and submucosal glands

  • K. N. Christie
  • C. Thomson
  • S. Morley
  • J. Anderson
  • D. Hopwood


Carbonic anhydrase (EC activity was investigated in normal human oesophageal mucosa using the Hansson and Ridderstråle catalytic cobalt methods. The enzyme was detected in the cell membranes and nuclei and, to a lesser extent, in the cytoplasm of the epithelial cells of the mucosa giving a ‘chicken wire’ appearance. Activity decreased towards the lumen. Other stratified squamous epithelia - buccal mucosa, ectocervix and skin - gave a similar pattern. Acinar cells of oesophageal submucosal glands also exhibited activity for the enzyme, but the ducts did not. The formation of reaction product was prevented by acetazolamide and ethoxzolamide and by the omission of bicarbonate from the substrate medium. Carbonic anhydrase in oesophageal squamous epithelium may be involved in the control of intra- and extracellular pH, while that in the glands is more likely to be concerned with bicarbonate secretion.


Epithelial Cell Cobalt Bicarbonate Carbonic Anhydrase Acinar Cell 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. N. Christie
    • 1
  • C. Thomson
    • 1
  • S. Morley
    • 2
  • J. Anderson
    • 3
  • D. Hopwood
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and PhysiologyUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland
  3. 3.Department of TherapeuticsUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland
  4. 4.Department of PathologyUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland

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