1971 Volume 105 Issue 4 Pages 355-363
The enterochromaffin cells (Ec-cells) in the normal and pathological antral mucosa of the human stomach were examined. It was clarified that the Ec-cells are observed only in the mucosa with intestinal metaplasia, and never in the normal mucosa. We tentatively classified the Ec-cells into two types: Ec-I-cells and Ec-II-cells. The specific granules in the Ec-I-cells are polymorphous and contain a dense core enclosed by a limiting membrane which fits either tightly or loosely. The Ec-II-cells have electron dense and polymorphous granules but do not contain a dense core in the limiting membrane. The ratio of Ec-I-cells to Ec-II-cells in the antral mucosa with intestinal metaplasia seems to be almost equal in gastric ulcer but smaller in gastric cancer. We propose the hypothesis that the endocrine cells in antral mucosa are changed into intestinal types of endocrine cells in the course of development of the intestinal metaplasia.