The presence of cholecystokinin (CCK) in the gastrointestinal tract of chickens has not been well demonstrated, although immunological and chromatographic techniques have shown the presence of intestinal gastrin-CCK-like factors. Recently, a new peptide, structurally related to mammalian CCK, but with a gastrin-like activity, has been isolated from the digestive tract of chickens. The objective of this work has been: 1) to study the presence of gastrin-CCK-like immunoreactivity (IMR) in the digestive tract of chickens; 2) to distinguish chicken gastrin from CCK; and 3) to establish their distribution using specific antibodies. Tissue specimens from the proventriculus, gizzard, pylorus, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, ceca, and rectum were studied using indirect immunofluorescence procedures. The antibodies used were: 1) an antibody specific against the C-terminal pentapeptide common to gastrin and CCK; 2) one specific against CCK-33; and 3) one specific against chicken gastrin. Their use allowed the differentiation of two cellular populations which showed different affinities for the antibodies, indicating the presence of a gastrin-like peptide in the antrum and another CCK-like peptide in the small intestine, with the highest concentration in the proximal ileum. Immunoreactivity was not found in any other studied area. Two different peptides of the gastrin-CCK family are present in the chicken's gastrointestinal tract. However their differentiation and identification are more difficult than in mammals due to the greater structural similarities of these peptides in birds.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1993|