Colonic endocrine cells in rats with chemically induced colon carcinoma

  • Magdy El-Salhy
  • B. Sitohy
Keywords: adenocarcinoma, colon, computerised image analysis, peptide YY, serotonin


Colonic carcinoma was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats by injecting them with 1,2- dimethylhydrazine dihydrochloride. Control rats were injected with EDTA solution. Tissue specimens of colon from four groups of animals: (i) rats without tumour, (ii) with dysplasia and lymphoid hyperplasia, (iii) with colonic adenocarcinoma, and (iv) controls, were investigated. The colonic endocrine cells were detected by immunocytochemistry and quantified by computerised image analysis. Peptide YY (PYY)- and serotonin-immunoreactive cells were found in the colon of al1 the groups investigated. There were few somatostatin- or enteroglucagon-immunoreactive cells and no pancreatic polypeptide (PP)-immunoreactive cells in the colon of any of the groups studied. The density of PYY-immunoreactive cells increased significantly in rats with dysplasia and lymphoid hyperplasia and in rats with colon carcinoma. There was no statistically significant difference as regards cell secretory index (CSI) or nuclear area of PYYimmunoreactive cells in any of treated groups examined. Nor was there any statistically significant difference between al1 treated animal groups and controls, as regards cell density, CSI, or nuclear area of serotoninimmunoreactive cells. The present observations in an animal model of human colon carcinoma support the assumption that neuroendocrine peptides in the gut are involved in the carcinogenesis of colorectal carcinoma. However, The nature of the changes in the colonic endocrine cells observed here differed from those in patients with colon carcinoma, possibly due to a difference between the response of young rats to an induced colon carcinoma and a spontaneously developed carcinoma in elderly humans, or due to a species difference.