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January 13, 1940


JAMA. 1940;114(2):140-141. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810020044010

Amid the usual cells of the epithelial lining of the alimentary tract peculiar cells are present which possess the power to reduce metallic salts and which are commonly known as argentaffin cells. It is generally held that these cells are of entodermal origin but their exact source remains unknown. Their function has been linked with metabolism of carbohydrates, production of secretin, secretion of epinephrine, formation of antianemic factor, digestion, and absorption. Actually, not a single concept pertaining to their function can stand objective criticism. In closing their review on this subject, the Macklins1 conclude that the most that can be said of the function of these cells is that we know nothing about it.

Popoff2 has recently studied this problem by using new histochemical methods which permit him to trace the genesis and metamorphosis of the argentaffin cells. He concludes that they originate from mucous (goblet) cells in

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