Immunohistochemical localization of translationally controlled tumor protein in the mouse digestive system

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Translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) is a housekeeping protein, highly conserved among various species. It plays a major role in cell differentiation, growth, proliferation, apoptosis and carcinogenesis. Studies reported so far on TCTP expression in different digestive organs have not led to any understanding of the role of TCTP in digestion, so we localized TCTP in organs of the mouse digestive system employing immunohistochemical techniques. Translationally controlled tumor protein was found expressed in all organs studied: tongue, salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, liver and pancreas. The expression of TCTP was found to be predominant in epithelia and neurons of myenteric nerve ganglia; high in serous glands (parotid, submandibular, gastric, intestinal crypts, pancreatic acini) and in neurons of myenteric nerve ganglia, and moderate to low in epithelia. In epithelia, expression of TCTP varied depending on its type and location. In enteric neurons, TCTP was predominantly expressed in the processes. Translationally controlled tumor protein expression in the liver followed porto-central gradient with higher expression in pericentral hepatocytes. In the pancreas, TCTP was expressed in both acini and islet cells. Our finding of nearly universal localization and expression of TCTP in mouse digestive organs points to the hitherto unrecognized functional importance of TCTP in the digestive system and suggests the need for further studies of the possible role of TCTP in the proliferation, secretion, absorption and neural regulation of the digestive process and its importance in the physiology and pathology of digestive process.

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