Normal and metaplastic gastrointestinal mucosa obtained at surgical resection were studied by light microscopy, using the unlabelled antibody enzyme method for immunohistochemical staining of lysozyme, pancreatic endoproteases, and pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (PSTI). Paneth cells in the mucosa of normal small intestine, gastric mucosa with intestinal metaplasia, and colonic metaplastic mucosa were found to contain anionic trypsin, cationic trypsin, lysozyme, and PSTI immunoreactivity, but not chymotrypsin and elastase immunoreactivity. Normal gastric and colonic mucosa and some goblet cells in the small intestine showed positive PSTI immunoreactivity but no endoprotease immunoreactivity. The presence of immunoreactive trypsin and immunoreactive PSTI in the Paneth cells, which are of secretory type, probably indicates an important extrapancreatic source of these proteins rather than a storage of endocytosed material.
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