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OBJECTIVE - The glands of the stomach body and antral mucosa contain a complex compendium of cell lineages. In lower mammals, the distribution of oxyntic glands and antral glands define the anatomical regions within the stomach. We examined in detail the distribution of the full range of cell lineages within the human stomach.
DESIGN - We determined the distribution of gastric gland cell lineages with specific immunocytochemical markers in entire stomach specimens from three non-obese organ donors.
RESULTS - The anatomical body and antrum of the human stomach were defined by the presence of ghrelin and gastrin cells, respectively. Concentrations of somatostatin cells were observed in the proximal stomach. Parietal cells were seen in all glands of the body of the stomach as well as in over 50% of antral glands. MIST1 expressing chief cells were predominantly observed in the body although individual glands of the antrum also showed MIST1 expressing chief cells. While classically described antral glands were observed with gastrin cells and deep antral mucous cells without any parietal cells, we also observed a substantial population of mixed type glands containing both parietal cells and G cells throughout the antrum.
CONCLUSIONS - Enteroendocrine cells show distinct patterns of localisation in the human stomach. The existence of antral glands with mixed cell lineages indicates that human antral glands may be functionally chimeric with glands assembled from multiple distinct stem cell populations.
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Helicobacter pylori persistently colonizes the harsh and dynamic environment of the stomach in over one-half of the world's population and has been identified as a causal agent in a spectrum of pathologies that range from gastritis to invasive adenocarcinoma. The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is one of the few regulatory proteins that has been identified in H. pylori. Fur regulates genes important for acid acclimation and oxidative stress and has been shown to be important for colonization of H. pylori in both murine and Mongolian gerbil models of infection. To more thoroughly define the role of Fur in vivo, we conducted an extensive temporal analysis of the location of, competitive ability of, and resultant pathology induced by a Deltafur strain in the Mongolian gerbil model of infection and compared the results to results for its wild-type parent. We found that at the earliest time points postinfection, significantly more Deltafur bacteria than wild-type bacteria were recovered. However, this trend was reversed by day 3, when there was significantly increased recovery of the wild-type strain. The increased recovery of the Deltafur strain at 1 day postinfection reflected increased recovery from both the corpus and the antrum of the stomach. When the wild-type strain was allowed to colonize first, the Deltafur strain was unable to compete for colonization at any time postinfection. However, when the Deltafur strain was allowed to colonize first, the wild type efficiently outcompeted the Deltafur strain only at early times postinfection. Finally, we demonstrated that there was a delay in the development and severity of inflammation and pathology of the Deltafur strain in the gastric mucosa even after comparable levels of colonization occurred. Together, these data indicate that H. pylori Fur is most important at early stages of infection and illustrate the importance of the ability of H. pylori to adapt to its constantly fluctuating environment when it is establishing infection, inflammation, and disease.
The gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori accelerates the progression to gastric cancer but the precise mechanisms that mediate carcinogenesis remain unidentified. We now describe how Helicobacter and gastrin stimulate the expression of a putative growth factor, Reg1, in primary gastric epithelial cells. RT-PCR and Western immunoblotting of human gastric corpus and antrum showed significantly increased Reg1alpha in H. pylori-infected patients. Similarly, Reg1 was increased in the stomachs of H. felis-infected INS-GAS mice. To study transcriptional regulation of the Reg1 gene, we transfected primary mouse gastric glands with -2111 bp and -104 bp Reg1 promoter-luciferase reporter constructs. Expression of both constructs was detected in pepsinogen- and VMAT-2-expressing cells, which corresponds to the normal pattern of expression of human and mouse endogenous Reg1. The expression of both constructs was increased in response to gastrin and H. pylori, and there were potentiating interactions between them; in contrast, only the -2111 bp construct responded to H. felis. Mutation of a C-rich putative regulatory element within the -104 bp sequence abolished the response to gastrin but not to H. pylori whereas mutation of the proximal -98 to -93 region of the promoter reduced the response to H. pylori but not to gastrin. Stimulation of Reg1 by H. pylori required the virulence factor CagA. These data indicate that expression of the putative growth factor Reg1 is controlled through separate promoter elements by gastrin and Helicobacter.
Accurate diagnosis of gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is important, as it contributes significantly to postallogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) morbidity and mortality. To test the hypothesis that proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy may interfere with histologic evaluation of gastric GvHD by inducing apoptosis, we evaluated epithelial apoptotic body counts in antral and fundic biopsies from SCT recipients and control patients, both taking and not taking PPIs at the time of endoscopic biopsy. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides of gastric biopsies from 130 patients (75 allogeneic SCT with GvHD on clinical and histologic grounds, and a comparison group of 55 age- and sex-matched nontransplant patients with histologically normal gastric biopsies) were reviewed. The groups were further stratified into patients taking (PPI+) and not taking PPIs (PPI-) at the time of biopsy. Apoptotic bodies (AB)/10 (400 x) high power fields (HPF) were quantified for each case. Mean apoptotic body counts were then calculated for each case group. Seventy antral cases (31 control and 39 transplant) were also evaluated via gastrin immunohistochemistry, and the mean number of gastrin positive cells/400 x HPF calculated. In the PPI- groups, apoptosis was increased in biopsies from transplant patients, compared with controls, both in antral and fundic mucosa. In PPI+ patients, there was significantly more apoptosis in the gastric body in transplant patients than in controls. However, comparing antral biopsies from control and transplant PPI+ patients, there was no significant difference in AB quantitation. More apoptosis was seen in antral biopsies from PPI+ control patients when compared with PPI- control patients (P = 0.009). Mean numbers of gastrin positive cells/400 x HPF were increased in both control and transplant patients taking PPIs (85 and 58, respectively) compared with samples from those patients not taking PPIs (48 and 51, respectively). PPI therapy is associated with increased apoptosis in antral biopsies and may interfere with the evaluation of GvHD in biopsies from this site. A similar increase in apoptosis was not seen in fundic biopsies; biopsy of the gastric fundus rather than antrum may be preferable for the diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal GvHD.
From 183 patients undergoing upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, we used antral and corpus gastric biopsies for bacterial culture and histopathologic examination, blood samples to detect immunoglobulin G antibodies against Helicobacter pylori, and H pylori genomic DNA to analyze cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA) and vacuolating cytotoxin (vacA) genotypes. As expected, among H pylori biopsy-positive patients, those with duodenal ulcer (DU) (n = 34) had significantly more severe chronic and acute inflammation (P <.001) and epithelial degeneration (P =.004) in the gastric antrum than in the gastric corpus. Each of those 3 parameters and H pylori density were significantly higher in the antrum of patients with DU than in patients with gastric ulcer (GU) or no ulcer. Colonization with vacA s1/cagA-positive strains of H pylori was associated with inflammation and epithelial degeneration in gastric mucosa and increased risk for peptic ulcer disease (PUD), whereas colonization with vacA s2m2/cagA-negative strains was associated with mild gastric histopathology and was not associated with any significant risk for PUD. The predominant H pylori strains in African Americans were vacA s1bm1/cagA-positive, whereas all genotypes were well represented in non-Hispanic-Caucasians. By multivariate analysis, H pylori colonization was significantly associated with DU (Adjusted odds ratio [AdjOR] = 3.2 [1.4-7.2]) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) use was inversely associated (AdjOR = 0.3 [0.2-0.7]). NSAID use (AdjOR = 4.3 [1.02-18.5]) and African-American ethnicity (AdjOR = 10.9 [2.6-50]) were significantly associated with GU. Smoking and age were not significantly associated with either DU or GU. These data indicate that DU is associated with an antral-dominant gastritis, and H pylori genotype and NSAID use independently contribute to the pathogenesis of PUD. HUM PATHOL 32:264-273. This is a US Government work. There are no restrictions on its use.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 are important regulators of mucosal inflammation and epithelial cell growth. To determine the role of iNOS and COX-2 in Helicobacter pylori-induced tissue injury, we compared their gene expression in H. pylori-induced gastritis with that in normal gastric mucosa and in non-H. pylori gastritis.
METHODS - In 43 patients, we assessed H. pylori infection status, histopathology, messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression, and cellular localization of iNOS and COX-2.
RESULTS - By reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), antral iNOS and COX-2 mRNA expression was absent to low in normal mucosa (n = 10), significantly increased in H. pylori-negative gastritis (n = 13), and even more markedly increased in H. pylori-positive gastritis (n = 20). Increased iNOS and COX-2 levels were confirmed by Northern and Western blot analysis and were both greater in the gastric antrum than in the gastric body of infected patients. Immunohistochemistry also showed increased expression of both genes in H. pylori gastritis: iNOS protein was detected in epithelium, endothelium, and lamina propria inflammatory cells, and COX-2 protein localized to mononuclear and fibroblast cells in the lamina propria.
CONCLUSIONS - iNOS and COX-2 are induced in H. pylori-positive gastritis and thus may modulate the inflammation and alterations in epithelial cell growth that occur in this disease. Higher levels of iNOS and COX-2 in H. pylori-positive vs. -negative gastritis and in gastric antrum, where bacterial density is greatest, suggest that expression of these genes is a direct response to H. pylori infection.
OBJECTIVE - Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) causes chronic gastritis. The inducible prostaglandin synthetase cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) plays an important role in inflammatory conditions. We hypothesized that H. pylori-associated chronic gastritis would express COX-2 protein. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of eradication of H. pylori infection on COX-2 expression in the antral mucosa of patients before and after antibiotic therapy.
METHODS - Tissues were obtained from patients with non-ulcer dyspepia undergoing H. pylori eradication. Ten patients with proven H. pylori infection and subsequent successful eradication were studied. Three biopsies of antral mucosa were evaluated before and after H. pylori eradication. The amount of acute and chronic inflammation was quantitated. Immunohistochemical staining for COX-2 was expressed as a percentage of the total number of cells and correlated with the degree of chronic inflammation.
RESULTS - Specific immunostaining for COX-2 was observed in antral mucosa of patients infected with H. pylori. Patchy cytoplasmic staining was seen in surface epithelial cells and strong cytoplasmic staining for COX-2 was seen in parietal cells. Spotty cytoplasmic staining for COX-2 was also seen in lamina propria plasma cells, as well as there being macrophages present in the germinal centers of lymphoid aggregates. COX-2 expression could be detected both before and after eradication of H. pylori. The mean percentage of cells staining for COX-2 was significantly higher in H. pylori-infected mucosa, compared with mucosa after successful H. pylori eradication (33.4% +/- 5.4 vs 18.9% +/- 3.3, p = 0.038). COX-2 immunostaining correlated best with the chronic inflammation score (r2 = 0.78, p < 0.001). There was a strong correlation for those subjects who were H. pylori infected, as well as for those who had successful H. pylori eradication.
CONCLUSIONS - H. pylori associated acute and chronic antral inflammation was associated with immunohistochemical detection of COX-2 protein in epithelial cells, in addition to associated mononuclear cells and parietal cells. Expression was reduced, but not eliminated, in the epithelium after successful eradication of H. pylori. Despite the reduction in COX-2 expression after H. pylori eradication, expression of COX-2 in epithelial cells remained and strongly correlated with the extent of the chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate. The clinical implications of H. pylori-associated induction of COX-2 expression for patients on selective COX-2 inhibitors, in addition to the role of COX-2 in gastric carcinogenesis, deserve further study.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Lewis antigens occur in human gastric epithelium and in Helicobacter pylori lipopolysaccharide; their expression is polymorphic in both. Autoimmune mechanisms induced by bacterial Lewis expression have been proposed to cause gastritis. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between bacterial and host gastric Lewis expression, as determined by the erythrocyte Lewis(a/b) phenotype, and between gastric histopathology and bacterial Lewis expression.
METHODS - H. pylori Lewis expression was determined by enzyme immunoassays, erythrocyte Lewis phenotype was assessed by agglutination tests, and gastric histopathology was scored blindly.
RESULTS - The host Lewis phenotype was (a+b-) in 15, (a-b+) in 34, and (a-b-) in 17 patients, therefore expressing Lewis x, y, or neither as their major gastric epithelial Lewis type 2 antigen. H. pylori from patients with Lewis(a+b-) expressed Lewis x more than y (1147 +/- 143 vs. 467 +/- 128 optical density units [ODU]; P = 0.006), isolates from patients with Lewis(a-b+) expressed Lewis x less than y (359 +/- 81 vs. 838 +/- 96 ODU; P = 0.0001), and isolates from Lewis(a-b-) patients expressed Lewis x and y approximately equally. Gastritis was unrelated to H. pylori Lewis expression.
CONCLUSIONS - In mimicking host gastric epithelium, H. pylori cells not only express Lewis x and y, but the relative proportion of expression corresponds to the host Lewis phenotype, suggesting selection for host-adapted organisms.
To determine the function of the pS2 trefoil protein, which is normally expressed in the gastric mucosa, the mouse pS2 (mpS2) gene was inactivated. The antral and pyloric gastric mucosa of mpS2-null mice was dysfunctional and exhibited severe hyperplasia and dysplasia. All homozygous mutant mice developed antropyloric adenoma, and 30 percent developed multifocal intraepithelial or intramucosal carcinomas. The small intestine was characterized by enlarged villi and an abnormal infiltrate of lymphoid cells. These results indicate that mpS2 is essential for normal differentiation of the antral and pyloric gastric mucosa and may function as a gastric-specific tumor suppressor gene.
Aging is associated with significant structural and functional changes in the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrin, a hormone produced by G cells in the antrum of the stomach, stimulates proliferation of gastric mucosa; its synthesis appears to decrease with age. Life-long restriction of caloric intake is the only experimental manipulation that has been shown to retard aging processes in rats. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of short-term caloric restriction (CR) on the production and release of the hormone gastrin with aging. Aging causes a fall in both fasting plasma levels of gastrin and antral content of gastrin in Fischer 344 rats; short-term CR appears to augment this age-related decrease. Steady state levels of antral gastrin mRNA were decreased with aging, and short-term CR resulted in an augmented decrease in aged, but not in young rats. Our findings indicate that gastrin release, synthesis and gene expression decrease with age. Restriction of the caloric intake for a short period (i.e. 8 weeks) augments this age-related decrease in antral gastrin and fasting plasma levels. Short-term CR appears to decrease the production of gastrin at the level of gene expression.