Localization of the histamine H2 receptor and gene transcripts in rat stomach: back to parietal cells.
ABSTRACT In contrast with many physiological studies suggesting that histamine H2 receptors are present on acid-secreting parietal cells of the gastric epithelium, it was recently shown that immune cells in the lamina propria are the only cells expressing H2-receptor mRNAs (Mezey and Palkovits, Science, 1992, 258, 1662-1665). We have reinvestigated the cellular localization of H2 receptors in the rat stomach by visualizing both the H2 receptor mRNA and the H2-receptor protein itself. In situ hybridization histochemistry performed with an antisense riboprobe for the rat H2 receptor, and autoradiographic distribution of 125I-aminopotentidine binding sites, a highly selective H2-receptor ligand, did not show any labeling of the lamina propria. Signals were clearly and solely detected in the gastric epithelium, the strongest being observed in the upper part of the glands where the H2 receptor gene transcripts were only detected within parietal cells. In situ hybridization performed with an antisense riboprobe for L-histidine decarboxylase mRNA confirmed the basal localization of the histamine-synthetizing cells in the rat gastric gland, at some distance from parietal histamine-sensitive cells.