The purpose of this study was to examine the distribution and localization of an intestinal cholecystokinin (CCK)-releasing factor, called luminal CCK-releasing factor (LCRF), in the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas of the rat. RIA analysis indicates that LCRF immunoreactivity is found throughout the gut including the pancreas, stomach, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and colon with the highest levels in the small intestine. Immunohistochemistry analysis shows LCRF immunoreactivity staining in intestinal villi, Brunner's glands of the duodenum, the duodenal myenteric plexus, gastric pits, pancreatic ductules, and pancreatic islets. These results indicate potential sources for secretagogue-stimulated release of luminal LCRF and support the hypothesis that LCRF is secreted into the intestinal lumen to stimulate CCK release from mucosal CCK cells.
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