Abstract The distribution and morphology of intestinal endocrine cells was investigated in the mucosa of pelvic ileal reservoirs using immunocytochemical methods. Endoscopic biopsies were obtained from 15 patients after the construction of a modified J-pouch. The mucosa of the reservoir showed a variable degree of colonic metaplasia in all cases. No relevant quantitative variations of gut endocrine cells were detected, as revealed by immunostaining for the general marker, chromogranin, compared with normal ileal mucosa. Immunostaining for different peptide-containing cells resulted in normal number and morphology of serotonin, enteroglucagon, peptide tyrosine-tyrosine, and somatostatin-containing cells. Neurotensin cells were less numerous than in normal mucosa. The role played by gastrointestinal hormones in the adaptive response of the intestine to pouch construction is, presently, unclear. Further studies involving measurements of fasting and meal-stimulated levels of gut hormones in pouch patients might clarify this aspect.
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