Cell lineage relationship in the stomach of normal and genetically manipulated mice

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21 Citations (Scopus)


The oxyntic mucosa of the mouse stomach is lined with a heterogeneous population of cells that form numerous short pits continuous with long tubular glands. Tritiated thymidine radioautography has made it possible to pinpoint the origin of all cell types and to follow the differentiation/migration of different cell lineages along the pit-gland unit. The proliferating multipotent stem cells functionally anchored in the upper glandular region, the isthmus, give rise to three main lineage precursors: 1) pre-pit cells, which migrate upward to the pit while differentiating into mucus-producing pit cells; 2) pre-neck cells, which migrate downward to the glandular neck while differentiating into mucus-producing neck cells that, by approaching the glandular base, gradually change their phenotype into pepsinogen- and intrinsic factor-producing zymogenic cells; 3) pre-parietal cells, which differentiate into acid-producing parietal cells in the isthmus and then undergo bipolar migration towards the pit and the glandular base. Thus, parietal cells are the only cells that complete their differentiation in the isthmus and then migrate to be scattered throughout the pit-gland unit. To determine whether parietal cells play a role in controlling decisions about cell fate within the pit-gland unit, the gastric epithelium has been examined in transgenic mice expressing the H,K-ATPase ß-subunit-1035 to +24/simian virus 40 large T antigen fusion gene. The blockade in parietal cell differentiation in these mice produces an amplification of lineage precursors, a marked depletion of zymogenic cells and an increase in pit cell census. Ablation of parietal cells in another transgenic mouse model expressing the H,K-ATPase ß-subunit-1035 to+24/diphtheria toxin fragment A fusion gene also produces amplification of lineage precursors, and similar effects on zymogenic and pit cell census. These findings strongly suggest that parietal cells produce regulatory signals that control the cellular differentiation program of both pit and zymogenic cell lineages, and would hopefully improve our ability to identify the cellular pathways leading to malignant transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell proliferation/ differentiation programs
  • Gastric epithelium
  • Lineage progenitors
  • Radioautography
  • Stem cells
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Biophysics
  • General Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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