Histological, immunocytochemical and immunofluorescence methods were employed to study the oesophagus
and stomach of the elephant. The histological findings were in line with the situation in monogastric
species like swine and man. In the mucosa of the stomach, endocrine cells were immunoreactive to
gastrin, somatostatin, chromogranin A and serotonin. Nerve cells immunoreactive to somatostatin,
bombesin, VIP, PHI and CGRP were detected in the submucosal and myenteric plexus of the stomach.
In the stomach, the absence of glucagon cells and the presence of endocrine cells immunoreactive to
PYY, are in contrast to the situation in mammals and need further investigation. Small gastric ulcers
were observed in some of the specimens.
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