RE: Histology rat esophagus

From:Young Kwun

I do not know the exact answer to your question. Just some thoughts on the
It is known that the mucosa of oesophagus is lined with stratified squamous
epithelium and in ruminants and rodents shows marked keratinization,
probably due to correlation with the different dietary habits of the animal.
There are considerable species variation on the composition of muscle fibres
of the oesophagus, and the nature and control of motility in the striated
and smooth muscle differ greatly. The tunica muscularis propria of the
oesophagus consists of striated muscle throughout most of its length in both
layers in dogs, mice, rats, sheep, cattle, camels and elephants, whereas it
is exclusively smooth muscle in amphibians, birds, and reptiles. However a
transitional zone from striated and smooth muscle in the oesophagus may
differ between its longitudinal and circular muscle. I do not know whether
rats can regurgitate at will in some degree like ruminants, probably they
can't. In case of ruminants, transition to smooth muscle occurs at the
cardia and the majority of fibre types are striated muscle in the abdominal
oesophagus. Their striated muscle fibres extend to the reticular groove in
some extent. I guess that an answer your question "What is the muscle type
present in the abdominal esophagus in rats?" would depends on the possible
(functional) role of the abdominal oesophagus in rats. In addition, the
proportion of striated and smooth muscle in the oesophagus may differ
between its longitudinal and circular muscle!!
Apart from using pan cytokeratin, I guess that you have to use low molecular
weight cytokeratin to differentiate from stratified squamous epithelium to
simple and secretary epithelium. There are whole range of cytokeratin
antibodies reactive to rat tissue (eg try Chemicon catalogue or, but I do not have any experience in using them.

With best wishes,


Young Kwun, DVM
Senior Hospital Scientist
Dept. of Anatomical Pathology
Concord Hospital
Concord NSW 2139 Australia

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Maria Francelina Lopes []
> Sent: Friday, 27 December 2002 19:49
> To:
> Subject: Histology rat esophagus
> Hello!
> I am a Portuguese pediatric surgeon interested in the
> research of esophagus. I have a doubt concerning the
> esophageal histology of rat. What is the muscle type
> present in the abdominal esophagus? Skeletal or mixed
> (smooth and skeletal)? Another question I would like
> to ask is: which citokeratins should I choose to
> characterize the epithelial layer of the rat
> esophagus?
> Thank you!
> Maria Francelina Lopes
> __________________________________________________
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