The regulated endocrine-specific protein 18 (RESP18) has previously been localized to different endocrine cells and neurons, in particular the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. It is found in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum and is degraded at the post-ER pre-Golgi compartment, and a role in processing of secreted peptides has been hypothesized. The present study examines localization of RESP18 in the gastrointestinal mucosa of rats by immunohistochemistry, and expression and regulation in response to hypergastrinemia induced by acid inhibition (pantoprazole), gastrin antagonism (YF476), fasting-refeeding and octreotide by mRNA measurements. RESP18 was mainly found in the gastric mucosa, but could also be detected in a few, scattered cells in the lower small intestine and in colon. In the antral mucosa, all RESP18 immunoreactivity was localized to ghrelin-producing A-like cells and gastrin-producing G-cells. In the corpus mucosa, a significant fraction, but not all of the RESP18 immunoreactive cells, were A-like cells. In both antrum and corpus, Resp18 mRNA seemed to vary similarly with the activation of the A-like cells, and in the antrum also with stimulation of the G-cells. This study demonstrates, for the first time, the localization of RESP18 to specific neuroendocrine cells of the gastrointestinal mucosa and that it seems to be regulated synchronously with the peptides secreted from these cells. This suggests that Resp18 may indeed have a functional role in the synthesis or storage of these gastrointestinal peptides.
Regulated endocrine-specific protein 18 (RESP18) is localized to and regulated in A-like cells and G-cells in rat stomach