Age-related changes in antral endocrine cells in mice


  • Magdy El-Salhy
  • 0. Sandström
  • J. Mahdavi


computerized image analysis, immunocytochemistry, gastrin, serotonin, somatostatin


Antral endocrine cells in four age groups of mice, namely prepubertal (1 month old), young (3 months old), ageing (12 months old) and senescent (24 months old), were detected by immunocytochemistry and quantified by computerized image analysis. A statistical difference was detected between the different age groups regarding the numbers of gastrin-, somatostatin-, and serotonin-immunoreactive cells. The number of gastrin-immunoreactive cells significantly increased between 1 and 12 months, whereas they became significantly fewer between 12 and 24 months. Somatostatinimmunoreactive cell number increased significantly in I-, 12- and 24-month-old mice, compared with young mice (3 months old). The number of serotoninimmunoreactive cells also increased significantly in 1- and 12-month-old mice as compared with young mice. There was a statistical difference between different agegroups regarding the cell secretory index (CSI) of somatostatin- and gastrin-immunoreactive cells, the CS1 of both somatostatin- and serotonin-immunoreactive cells increased significantly in 1-, 12-, and 24-month-old mice, compared with young mice. There was no statistical difference between the different age-groups regarding the CS1 of gastrin-immunoreactive cells, nor between males and females regarding the number and CS1 of all the endocrine cell types investigated. It is suggested that the large number of somatostatinimrnunoreactive cells in ageing and senescent mice might have an impact on the gastric delay seen in the elderly. It was concluded also that the changes in the antral endocrine cells could be involved in the development of dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract inherent in ageing, or could be secondary to structural and functional changes in the alimentary tract caused by ageing.