Since gastrin and its related peptides are secreted by a minority population of widely dispersed cells in mamamalian tissues it has, in the past, been difficult to study the subcellular aspects of their secretion. From published reports (1, 2) it seemed possible that a satisfactory system for such studies might be provided by the skin of certain amphibians such as Xenopus laevis since in these tissues high concentrations of peptides such as caerulein exist, and there is some indication (3) that this, or a similar gastrin-like peptide, may be a dermal gland secretory product. We have therefore explored this possibility by studying the structure, secretory process, and secretory product of the most prominent non mucous type of gland in the skin of X. laevis. These studies clearly demonstrate that most, if not all, of the caerulein in which the skin is contained in secretion granules within the dermal glands and that its release can be specifically evoked by adrenergic stimulation. The release process by a holocrine mechanism expels all of the stored secretion onto the skin surface and thus for biosynthetic studies it should now be possible to synchronize the processes which lead to the replenishment of the peptide.

This content is only available as a PDF.