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Cell lineage distribution atlas of the human stomach reveals heterogeneous gland populations in the gastric antrum
  1. Eunyoung Choi1,2,
  2. Joseph T Roland1,2,
  3. Brittney J Barlow1,2,
  4. Ryan O'Neal1,2,
  5. Amy E Rich2,3,
  6. Ki Taek Nam1,2,4,
  7. Chanjuan Shi3,
  8. James R Goldenring1,2,5,6
  1. 1Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  2. 2Epithelial Biology Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  4. 4Severance Biomedical Science Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  5. 5Nashville VA Medical Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  6. 6Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr J R Goldenring, Section of Surgical Sciences, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Epithelial Biology Center, 10435G MRB-IV, 2213 Garland Avenue, Nashville, TN 37232-2733, USA; jim.goldenring{at}


Objective The glands of the stomach body and antral mucosa contain a complex compendium of cell lineages. In lower mammals, the distribution of oxyntic glands and antral glands define the anatomical regions within the stomach. We examined in detail the distribution of the full range of cell lineages within the human stomach.

Design We determined the distribution of gastric gland cell lineages with specific immunocytochemical markers in entire stomach specimens from three non-obese organ donors.

Results The anatomical body and antrum of the human stomach were defined by the presence of ghrelin and gastrin cells, respectively. Concentrations of somatostatin cells were observed in the proximal stomach. Parietal cells were seen in all glands of the body of the stomach as well as in over 50% of antral glands. MIST1 expressing chief cells were predominantly observed in the body although individual glands of the antrum also showed MIST1 expressing chief cells. While classically described antral glands were observed with gastrin cells and deep antral mucous cells without any parietal cells, we also observed a substantial population of mixed type glands containing both parietal cells and G cells throughout the antrum.

Conclusions Enteroendocrine cells show distinct patterns of localisation in the human stomach. The existence of antral glands with mixed cell lineages indicates that human antral glands may be functionally chimeric with glands assembled from multiple distinct stem cell populations.

  • Gastric Epithelial Cell FUnction
  • Gastrin
  • Gastric Parietal Cell
  • Gastric Physiology
  • Gastric Function

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