A neuroendocrine marker in tissues of the immune system

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Science  04 Oct 1985:
Vol. 230, Issue 4721, pp. 89-90
DOI: 10.1126/science.3898368


Antibodies to chromogranin, a secretory protein marker for the diffuse neuroendocrine system, were used to analyze rat lymphoreticular tissues by means of immunochemistry and immunohistochemistry. Chromogranin-positive cells were present in spleen, lymph node, thymus, and fetal liver. When these organs were gently dispersed and separated on a Ficoll gradient, the chromogranin-immunoreactive cells became enriched in the dense red-cell pellets. The unexpected distribution of these neuroendocrine cells in all immunologically relevant structures suggests that they may link the nervous and immunological systems.