To determine the effect of varying degrees of gastritis on the distribution of immuno-reactive gastrin cells 38 partial gastrectomy specimens have been studied. Routinely stained histological sections of mucosa were compared with serial and adjacent sections stained by specific immunohistochemistry using peroxidase and fluorescent techniques. While chronic superficial gastritis had no obvious effect, mild atrophic gastritis was associated with an uneven distribution of gastrin cells which became more marked with increasing severity of gastritis. In the region of intestinal metaplasia gastrin cells were almost totally absent. Small numbers of gastrin cells were found within areas of pseudopyloric metaplasia in the fundus, a region where those cells are not normally seen. Similarly, gastrin cells were detected within regenerative gastric polypi in both antrum and fundus.
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