Localization of cholecystokinin-like and calcitonin-like peptides in infant carotid bodies: a light- and electron-microscopic immunohistochemical study
Abstract Previous immunohistochemical studies have identified several regulatory peptides in the carotid body chief cells in both humans and animals. These peptides, together with amines, may be important in the modulation of the chemoreflex by the carotid body. We report the localization and distribution of calcitonin and cholecystokinin-like (CCK) immunoreactivity in chief cells of human infant carotid body by light- and electron-microscopic immunohistochemical techniques. Consecutive sections immunostained with calcitonin and/or CCK antibodies revealed positively stained chief cells, both alone and in clusters, scattered throughout the carotid body lobule. Generally more chief cells were positive for calcitonin than for CCK. This was confirmed by quantiative analysis showing that the ratio of calcitonin to CCK immunoreactive cells was consistently >2:1 in all cases studied. There was no apparent correlation between the immunoreactivity for the two peptides and the age, sex, or postmortem interval. Calcitonin-like and CCK-like immunoreactivities were localized electron-microscopically over the dense core granules of the chief cells. Calcitonin and CCK-like peptides in carotid body chief cells may act as neutransmitters or neuromodulators involved in chemoreception.
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