Letter | Published:

Indole Nature of Enterochromaffin Substance

Naturevolume 214pages196197 (1967) | Download Citation



THERE are several theories about the nature of the argentaffin substance stored in the enterochromaffin cells of the gastrointestinal mucosa1–3. At present, Erspamer's 5-hydroxytryptamine theory4,5 appears to be the most popular and best documented. The identification of the enterochromaffin substance as 5-hydroxytryptamine, however, contrasts with the fact that, by using several histochemical methods, no indole reactions have been obtained on formalin-fixed enterochromaffin granules6. We have reconsidered the problem by fixing duodenum, stomach and pancreas of various species, including guinea-pig, rat, mouse, rabbit, horse, pig, monkey and man, with 4 per cent formaldehyde or with 6 per cent glutaraldehyde in 0.1 molar phosphate buffer, pH 7.2, for 24 h.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Cordier, R., and Lison, L., Bull. Histol. Appl., 7, 140 (1930).

  2. 2

    Jacobson, W., J. Path. Bact., 49, 1 (1939).

  3. 3

    Gomori, G., Arch. Pathol., 45, 48 (1948).

  4. 4

    Erspamer, V., Rendic. Sci. Farmitalia, 1, 1 (1954).

  5. 5

    Erspamer, V., and Asero, B., Nature, 169, 800 (1952).

  6. 6

    Lillie, R. D., J. Histochem. Cytochem., 9, 184 (1961).

  7. 7

    Lison, L., Histochimie et Cytochimie Animates (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1960).

  8. 8

    Glenner, G. C., and Lillie, R. D., J. Histochem. Cytochem., 5, 279 (1957).

  9. 9

    Lillie, R. D., J. Histochem. Cytochem., 5, 188 (1957).

  10. 10

    Boyland, E., Sims, P., and Williams, D. C., Biochem. J., 62, 546 (1956).

  11. 11

    Patchornich, A., Lawson, W. B., and Witkop, B., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 80, 4747 (1958).

  12. 12

    Holcenberg, J., and Benditt, E. P., Lab. Invest., 10, 144 (1961).

Download references

Author information


  1. Department of Pathological Anatomy, University of Pavia, Italy

    • E. SOLCIA
    •  & R. SAMPIETRO


  1. Search for E. SOLCIA in:

  2. Search for R. SAMPIETRO in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date



Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.