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The orderly differentiation of cell lineages within gastric glands is regulated by a complicated interplay of local mucosal growth factors and hormones. Histamine secreted from enterochromaffin-like cells plays an important role in not only stimulated gastric acid secretion but also coordination of intramucosal growth and lineage differentiation. We have examined histidine-decarboxylase (HDC)-deficient mice, which lack endogenous histamine synthesis, to evaluate the influence of histamine on differentiation of fundic mucosal lineages and the development of metaplasia following induction of acute oxyntic atrophy. Stomachs from HDC-deficient mice and wild-type mice were evaluated at 8 wk and 12 mo of age. DMP-777 was administrated orally to 6-wk-old mice for 1 to 14 days. Sections of gastric mucosa were stained with antibodies against Mist1, intrinsic factor, H/K-ATPase, trefoil factor 2 (TFF2), chromogranin A, and Ext1 and for the cell cycle marker phospho-histone H3. HDC-deficient mice at 8 wk of age demonstrated a prominent increase in chief cells expressing Mist1 and intrinsic factor. Importantly Mist1-positive mature chief cells were present in the midgland region as well as at the bases of fundic glands, indicating a premature differentiation of chief cells. Mice dually deficient for both HDC and gastrin showed a normal distribution of chief cells in fundic glands. Treatment of HDC-deficient mice with DMP-777 led to loss of parietal cells and an accelerated and exaggerated emergence of mucous cell metaplasia with the presence of dual intrinsic factor and TFF2-expressing cells throughout the gland length, indicative of the emergence of spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM) from chief cells. These findings indicate that histamine, in concert with gastrin, regulates the appropriate differentiation of chief cells from mucous neck cells as they migrate toward the bases of fundic glands. Nevertheless, histamine is not required for emergence of SPEM following acute oxyntic atrophy.