Merkel cells in the human oesophagus

J L Harmse, F A Carey, A R Baird, S R Craig, K N Christie, D Hopwood, J Lucocq

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Merkel cells (MCs) are well recognized in the basal layers of the skin and oral mucosa, but this paper describes for the first time the presence of MCs in the human oesophagus. These cells are not identified in neonatal oesophagus, but are seen singly and in clusters in adult specimens. Application of stereological techniques shows that MCs are more numerous in the mid-oesophageal region. Cells expressing established markers of MCs have also been demonstrated in two out of six primary small cell carcinomas of the oesophagus. Further investigation of the role of MCs in oesophageal innervation and epithelial biology will be of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-9
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999


  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell
  • Cell Count
  • Esophageal Neoplasms
  • Esophagus
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Keratin-20
  • Merkel Cells
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Tumor Markers, Biological


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