noun, plural: enterochromaffin-like cells
The gastric glands are the glands located in the stomach lining and are responsible for the secretion of the major components of the gastric juice. There are different cell types that make up the gastric glands. The different cell types are: (1) parietal cells, (2) gastric chief cells, (3) foveolar cells, particularly the mucous neck cells, (4) G cells, and (5) enterochromaffin-like cells.
The enterochromaffin-like cells are neuroendocrine cells. They release histamine. Other cells that store and produce histamine are mast cells and basophils. Thus, histamines are largely known to be involved in immune reactions, such as allergic reactions and inflammation due to their vasodilatory effect. Apart from this function, histamines are also involved in stimulating gastric acid release. In particular, the enterochromaffin-like cells in the gastric glands of the stomach secrete histamines. These compounds bind to the G protein-coupled histamine receptors on the surface of parietal cells. The binding stimulates parietal cells to take up carbon dioxide and water from the blood, which are converted to carbonic acid through the action of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. Within the cell, the carbonic acid dissociates into hydrogen and bicarbonate ions. While the bicarbonate ions diffuses back into the bloodstream from the parietal cell the hydrogen ions are pumped into the lumen of the stomach via K+/H+ ATPase. The decrease of pH in the stomach results in the inhibition of further histamine release. One of the major inhibitors of enterochromaffin-like cells is somatostatin from oxyntic D cells.
Apart from histamine, the enterochromaffin-like cells produce other compounds, e.g. pancreastatin.
- ECL cell