Recently, there has been a growing interest in an expanding group of cytokines known as “IL-12 family”. The so far gained knowledge about these cytokines, as crucial playmakers in mucosal immunity, has not yet been sufficiently investigated in the context of Helicobacter pylori infection. All genes encoding the monomeric components of these cytokines and their corresponding receptors were examined in gastric epithelial cell lines (AGS and MKN-28) after being infected with 4 H. pylori strains: BCM-300, P1 wild-type, and P1-derived isogenic mutants lacking cytotoxin-associated gene A (cagA) or virulence gene virB7 (multiplicity of infection=50). Both infected and uninfected samples were analyzed after 24h and 48h using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Gene expression analysis demonstrated a strong upregulation of IL23A (encodes p19) by infection, whereas IL23R, Epstein–Barr virus-induced gene 3 (EBI3), IL6ST, IL12A, and IL27RA were found to be expressed, but not regulated, or to a lesser extent. Transcripts of IL12RB2, IL12B, IL12RB1, and IL27A were not detected. Interestingly, P1 resulted in stronger alterations of expression than CagA mutant and BCM-300, particularly for IL23A (59.7-fold versus 32.4- and 6.7-fold, respectively in AGS after 48h, P<.05), whereas no changes were seen with VirB7 mutant. In a proof-of-principle experiment, we demonstrated epithelial-derived expression of IL-12, p19, and Ebi3 in gastric mucosa of gastritis patients using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Unlike IL-12 and Ebi3, increased immunostaining of p19 was observed in H. pylori gastritis. Herein, we highlight the potential role of gastric epithelial cells in mucosal immunity, not only because they are predominant cell type in mucosa and initial site of host-bacterial interaction, but also as a major contributor to molecules that are thought to be primarily expressed by immune cells so far. Of these molecules, p19 was the most relevant one to H. pylori infection in terms of expression and localization.
Gastrointestinal (GI) tract bleeding, in particular originating within the long segment of the small intestine, remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. The authors describe the potential utility of emergency double balloon enteroscopy (DBE) for small bowel bleeding. An elderly woman was admitted because of a hypertensive crisis to the medical department of a regional hospital. Her medical history was significant for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) abuse. While in hospital she had massive obscure GI bleeding. Upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy for recurrent bleeding showed only thrombotic residuals in two sigmoid diverticuli, which led to segmental resection of the sigmoid colon. However, postoperatively, bleeding recurred leading to transfer to our university hospital. Immediate angiography only revealed a vascular malformation at the upper jejunum but no ongoing bleeding. Subsequent emergency DBE detected an oozing jejunal ulcer, which was coagulated using a argon beamer. Because of recurrent falls in haemoglobin with the need for repeated transfusion, the patient underwent surgical reintervention including segmental resection of the ulcerated upper jejunum with subsequent end-to-end anastomosis. Histopathology revealed NSAID-induced ulcerous jejunopathy. Postoperatively, there was no further bleeding and the patient was discharged home in a stable condition. In conclusion, this is one of the first reports of successful emergency use of DBE in a case of recurrent and occult bleeding within the small bowel which successfully located the source of bleeding and facilitated successful superficial ulcer coagulation with an argon beamer to prevent further bleeding.
Inadequate response to proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is reported in up to 40%. Patients with non erosive reflux disease (NERD) have lower response rates compared to patients with erosive reflux disease (ERD); pH metry contributes to GERD diagnosis and is critical for proper diagnosis of NERD.
Aim of the study was to assess the need for doubling esomeprazole standard dose (40 mg) for 4 weeks in PPI naive patients with typical reflux symptoms and diagnosis of GERD based on endoscopy and 48 hours, wireless pH metry.
All patients underwent upper GI endoscopy. Symptoms were recorded with a structured questionnaire (RDQ) and acid exposure was determined by 48 hours, wireless pH monitoring (BRAVO). In case of abnormal acid exposure, patients received a short term treatment with esomeprazole 40 mg q.d. for 4 weeks. If symptoms persisted, patients underwent a second pH metry on PPI and the dose was increased to 40 mg b.i.d.
31 consecutive patients with typical reflux symptoms underwent 48 hours pH monitoring. 22 patients (71%) had abnormal acid exposure, 9 patients had normal pH metry (29%). Of the 9 patients with normal pH metry, 2 were found with erosive esophagitis and 7 without endoscopic abnormalities.
24 patients with documented GERD received esomeprazole treatment. 21 patients achieved complete symptom resolution with 40 mg q.d. after 4 weeks (88%). Only 2 patients required doubling the dose of esomeprazole for complete symptom resolution, 1 patient remained with symptoms.
Patients with typical reflux symptoms and abnormal acid exposure have a high response rate to standard dose esomeprazole regardless of whether they have ERD or NERD.
GERD; NERD; PPI; Esomeprazole; Treatment; ph metry; Diagnosis; Therapy
Functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are frequent disorders affecting quality of life. They often require long-term treatment. Abdominal symptoms of both disorders can overlap, making differential diagnosis and treatment challenging. The extracts of the herbal combination preparation STW 5 (Iberogast®) exert pharmacological effects in different gastrointestinal regions and can address symptoms of both FD and IBS. This review summarizes safety and efficacy data of 12 clinical trials using STW 5 in FD and IBS since 1990. Double-blind and randomized studies versus placebo or active control found statistically significant effects of STW 5 on patients’ symptoms with a comparable efficacy to a standard prokinetic. Non-interventional and retrospective studies confirmed these effects. Various studies evaluated the tolerability profile of STW 5: the incidence of adverse drug reactions was 0.04 %. The worldwide spontaneous reporting system confirmed this profile. STW 5 has a favorable tolerability which is relevant for long-term treatment.
Functional dyspepsia; Irritable bowel syndrome; Iberogast/STW 5; Iberis amara; Review; Funktionelle Dyspepsie/Reizmagen; Reizdarm; Iberogast/STW 5; Iberis amara; Review
Symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) in pregnancy are reported with a prevalence of 30–80%. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and severity of GERD symptoms during the course of pregnancy. Furthermore current practice in medical care for GERD during pregnancy was assessed.
We performed a prospective longitudinal cohort study on 510 pregnant women (mean age 28.12, SD 5.3). Investigations for reflux symptoms where based on the use of validated reflux-disease questionnaire (RDQ). Additional information was collected about the therapy. A group of non-pregnant women (mean age 24.56, SD 5.7) was included as controls. Frequency and severity of reflux symptoms were recorded in each trimester of pregnancy.
The prevalence of GERD symptoms in pregnant women increased from the first trimester with 26.1 to 36.1% in the second trimester and to 51.2% in the third trimester of pregnancy. The prevalence of GERD symptoms in the control group was 9.3%.
Pregnant women received medication for their GERD symptoms in 12.8% during the first, 9.1% during the second and 15.7% during the third trimester. Medications used >90% antacids, 0% PPI.
GERD symptoms occur more often in pregnant women than in non-pregnant and the frequency rises in the course of pregnancy. Medical therapy is used in a minority of cases and often with no adequate symptom relief.
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease; Pregnancy; Heartburn; Regurgitation; GERD symptoms
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is associated with impaired epithelial barrier function that is regulated by cell-cell contacts. The aim of the study was to investigate the expression pattern of selected components involved in the formation of tight junctions in relation to GERD.
Eighty-four patients with GERD-related symptoms with endoscopic signs (erosive: n = 47) or without them (non-erosive: n = 37) as well as 26 patients lacking GERD-specific symptoms as controls were included. Endoscopic and histological characterization of esophagitis was performed according to the Los Angeles and adapted Ismeil-Beigi criteria, respectively. Mucosal biopsies from distal esophagus were taken for analysis by histopathology, immunohistochemistry and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of five genes encoding tight junction components [Occludin, Claudin-1, -2, Zona occludens (ZO-1, -2)].
Histopathology confirmed GERD-specific alterations as dilated intercellular spaces in the esophageal mucosa of patients with GERD compared to controls (P < 0.05). Claudin-1 and −2 were 2- to 6-fold upregulation on transcript (P < 0.01) and in part on protein level (P < 0.015) in GERD, while subgroup analysis of revealed this upregulation for ERD only. In both erosive and non-erosive reflux disease, expression levels of Occludin and ZO-1,-2 were not significantly affected. Notably, the induced expression of both claudins did not correlate with histopathological parameters (basal cell hyperplasia, dilated intercellular spaces) in patients with GERD.
Taken together, the missing correlation between the expression of tight junction-related components and histomorphological GERD-specific alterations does not support a major role of the five proteins studied in the pathogenesis of GERD.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Tight junction; Claudins; Esophagitis; Inflammation
Pancreatic cancer (PCA) is an aggressive tumor that associates with high mortality rates. Majority of PCA patients are diagnosed usually at late tumor stages when the therapeutic options are limited. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are involved in tumor development and are commonly dysregulated in PCA. As a proof-of-principle study, we aimed to evaluate the potential of fecal miRNAs as biomarkers for pancreatic cancer.
Materials and Methods
Total RNA was extracted from feces using Qiagen's miRNA Mini Kit. For miRNA expression analyses we selected a subset of 7 miRNAs that are frequently dysregulated in PCA (miR-21, -143, -155, -196a, -210, -216a, -375). Subsequently, expression levels of these miRNAs were determined in fecal samples from controls (n = 15), chronic pancreatitis (n = 15) and PCA patients (n = 15) using quantitative TaqMan-PCR assays.
All selected miRNAs were detectable in fecal samples with high reproducibility. Four of seven miRNAs (miR-216a, -196a, -143 und -155) were detected at lower concentrations in feces of PCA patients when compared to controls (p<0.05). Analysis of fecal miRNA expression in controls and patients with chronic pancreatitis and PCA revealed that the expression of miR-216a, -196a, -143 und -155 were highest in controls and lowest in PCA. The expression of the remaining three miRNAs (miR-21, -210 and -375) remained unchanged among controls and the patients with either chronic pancreatitis or PCA.
Our data provide novel evidence for the differential expression of miRNAs in feces of patients with PCA. If successfully validated in large-scale prospective studies, the fecal miRNA biomarkers may offer novel tools for PCA screening research.
Glycoprotein 2 (GP2) was discovered as the major autoantigen of Crohn’s disease (CD)-specific pancreatic autoantibodies (PAB). We investigated anti-GP2 IgA and IgG antibodies as novel serological parameters in CD and assessed their association with distinct disease phenotypes.
Anti-GP2 and anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (ASCA) IgA and IgG were detected by ELISA employing recombinant human GP2 and phosphopeptidomannan, respectively and PAB by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) in 271 sera, 169 with CD and 102 with ulcerative colitis (UC). As healthy controls 160 adult blood donors and 65 children were included.
Anti-GP2 IgG and/or IgA were more prevalent in CD (51/169, 30.2%) than in UC (9/102, 8.9%) patients and in controls (9/225, 4%) (p < 0.001 respectively). ASCA IgG and/or IgA were present in 60/169 (35.5%) in CD and in 7/102 (6.9%) in UC patients (p < 0.001). CD patients with ileocolonic location (L3) showed a significantly higher prevalence of anti-GP2 and ASCA IgA and/or IgG (40/113 and 48/113, respectively; p < 0.05 for both comparisons), whereas CD patients with colonic location (L2) revealed a significantly diminished prevalence for these autoantibody specificities (2/32 and 5/32, respectively, p < 0.05 for both). Anti-GP2 IgG were significantly more prevalent in CD patients with stricturing behaviour (B2) and perianal disease (7/11, p < 0.02) and less prevalent in those with penetrating behaviour (B3) and perianal disease (4/31, p < 0.05). The occurrence of anti-GP2 IgA and/or IgG was significantly more prevalent in CD patients with age at diagnosis of ≤16 years (16/31, p < 0.009). Prevalence of one or more anti-GP2 or ASCA IgA and/or IgG was significantly higher in L3, B2, and A1 and lower in L2 (68/113, 27/41, 23/31, 6/32; p < 0.04, respectively).
Anti-GP2 IgG and IgA, constituting novel CD specific autoantibodies, appear to be associated with distinct disease phenotypes identifying patients at a younger age, with ileocolonic location, and stricturing behaviour with perianal disease.
Autoantibody; Autoantigen; Autoimmunity; Crohn’s disease; Gastroenterology; Glycoprotein 2; Inflammatory bowel disease
“Quorum sensing” (QS) is the phenomenon which allows single bacterial cells to measure the concentration of bacterial signal molecules. Two principle different QS systems are known, the Autoinducer 1 system (AI-1) for the intraspecies communication using different Acyl-homoserine lactones (AHL) and AI-2 for the interspecies communication. Aim of this study was to investigate QS of Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 (Mutaflor).
While E. coli Nissle is producing AI-2 in a density dependent manner, no AI-1 was produced. To study the effect of AI-2 in the DSS (dextran sulphate sodium) induced mouse model of acute colitis, we silenced the corresponding gene luxS by intron insertion. The mutant bacterium E. coli Nissle::luxS was equally effective in colonizing the colon and the mutation turned out to be 100% stable during the course of the experiment. Isolating RNA from the colon mucosa and performing semiquantitative RT PCR, we were able to show that the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IFN-y was suppressed in mice being infected with the E. coli Nissle wild type. Mice infected with the E. coli Nissle::luxS mutant showed a suppressed expression of IL-10 compared to uninfected mice, while the expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α was higher in these mice. The expression of mBD-1 was suppressed in mice being infected with the mutant in comparison to the mice not infected or infected with the wild type. No differences were seen in the histological examination of the colon sections in the different groups of mice.
E. coli Nissle is producing AI-2 molecules, which are influencing the expression of cytokines in the mucosa of the colon in the DSS mice. However, if QS has a direct influence on the probiotic properties of E. coli Nissle remains to be elucidated.
Quorum sensing; Escherichia coli Nissle; Autoinducer-2; DSS colitis; Cytokines
Cachexia, a >10% loss of body-weight, is one factor determining the poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer. Deficiency of L-Carnitine has been proposed to cause cancer cachexia.
We screened 152 and enrolled 72 patients suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer in a prospective, multi-centre, placebo-controlled, randomized and double-blinded trial to receive oral L-Carnitine (4 g) or placebo for 12 weeks. At entry patients reported a mean weight loss of 12 ± 2,5 (SEM) kg. During treatment body-mass-index increased by 3,4 ± 1,4% under L-Carnitine and decreased (−1,5 ± 1,4%) in controls (p < 0,05). Moreover, nutritional status (body cell mass, body fat) and quality-of-life parameters improved under L-Carnitine. There was a trend towards an increased overall survival in the L-Carnitine group (median 519 ± 50 d versus 399 ± 43 d, not significant) and towards a reduced hospital-stay (36 ± 4d versus 41 ± 9d,n.s.).
While these data are preliminary and need confirmation they indicate that patients with pancreatic cancer may have a clinically relevant benefit from the inexpensive and well tolerated oral supplementation of L-Carnitine.
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma; L-Carnitine; Quality of life; Survival; Cancer cachexia; Fatique syndrome
Epidemiological studies from different countries have shown a steady decline of the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection. In order to investigate the current seroprevalence of H. pylori infection in the area of Magdeburg, a city of the former East Germany, H. pylori antibodies of patients presenting in our emergency wards were analyzed. In total, 2,318 patients (1,181 males and 1,137 females) enrolled between September 2009 and August 2010 were tested for immunoglobulin G (IgG) against H. pylori and anti-CagA antibodies by specific enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Patients with either anti-H. pylori IgG or anti-CagA antibodies were classified as H. pylori positive, whereas the lack of both antibodies led to the assignment of an H. pylori-negative status. The overall seroprevalence of H. pylori infection was 44.4% (n = 1,029 out of 2,318) and did not differ in relation to sex. The proportion of CagA-positive samples was 43.3% of all H. pylori-positive individuals (446 out of 1,029). The seroprevalence showed a birth cohort effect (0 to 20 years of age, 14.6%; 21 to 30 years, 22.4%; 31 to 40 years, 40.6%; 41 to 50 years, 45.5%; 51 to 60 years, 50.8%) up to the age of 60, while it remained between 40.7% and 50.5% for the following decades. Patients younger than 30 years were significantly less H. pylori positive (21.1%) than those older than 30 years of age (47.7%; P < 0.01), whereas CagA status was similar (44.3 versus 43.3%). Notably, young women (<30 years old) had significantly higher CagA positivity (59.3%) than corresponding men (32.5%; P = 0.016). Taken together, seroprevalence of H. pylori infection shows a significant drop in subjects born after 1980 in Saxony-Anhalt but still remains in the range of 40 to 50% in subjects born earlier.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of global cancer mortality. However, little is known about the precise molecular mechanisms involved in tumor formation and pathogenesis. The primary goal of this study was to elucidate genome-wide molecular networks involved in development of HCC with multiple etiologies by exploring high quality microarray data. We undertook a comparative network analysis across 264 human microarray profiles monitoring transcript changes in healthy liver, liver cirrhosis, and HCC with viral and alcoholic etiologies. Gene co-expression profiling was used to derive a consensus gene relevance network of HCC progression that consisted of 798 genes and 2,012 links. The HCC interactome was further confirmed to be phenotype-specific and non-random. Additionally, we confirmed that co-expressed genes are more likely to share biological function, but not sub-cellular localization. Analysis of individual HCC genes revealed that they are topologically central in a human protein-protein interaction network. We used quantitative RT-PCR in a cohort of normal liver tissue (n = 8), hepatitis C virus (HCV)-induced chronic liver disease (n = 9), and HCC (n = 7) to validate co-expressions of several well-connected genes, namely ASPM, CDKN3, NEK2, RACGAP1, and TOP2A. We show that HCC is a heterogeneous disorder, underpinned by complex cross talk between immune response, cell cycle, and mRNA translation pathways. Our work provides a systems-wide resource for deeper understanding of molecular mechanisms in HCC progression and may be used further to define novel targets for efficient treatment or diagnosis of this disease.
Background and aims
Atrophic gastritis (AG) results most often from Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. AG is the most important single risk condition for gastric cancer that often leads to an acid-free or hypochlorhydric stomach. In the present paper, we suggest a rationale for noninvasive screening of AG with stomach-specific biomarkers.
The paper summarizes a set of data on application of the biomarkers and describes how the test results could be interpreted in practice.
In AG of the gastric corpus and fundus, the plasma levels of pepsinogen I and/or the pepsinogen I/pepsinogen II ratio are always low. The fasting level of gastrin-17 is high in AG limited to the corpus and fundus, but low or non-elevated if the AG occurs in both antrum and corpus. A low fasting level of G-17 is a sign of antral AG or indicates high intragastric acidity. Differentiation between antral AG and high intragastric acidity can be done by assaying the plasma G-17 before and after protein stimulation, or before and after administration of the proton pump inhibitors (PPI). Amidated G-17 will rise if the antral mucosa is normal in structure. H. pylori antibodies are a reliable indicator of helicobacter infection, even in patients with AG and hypochlorhydria.
Stomach-specific biomarkers provide information about the stomach health and about the function of stomach mucosa and are a noninvasive tool for diagnosis and screening of AG and acid-free stomach.
acetaldehyde; achlorhydria; atrophic gastritis; biomarker; calcium; gastric cancer; gastrin; Helicobacter pylori; pepsinogen; vitamin B12
Non-invasive tools for gastric cancer screening and diagnosis are lacking. Serological testing with the detection of pepsinogen 1 (PG1), pepsinogen 2 (PG2) and gastrin 17 (G17) offers the possibility to detect preneoplastic gastric mucosal conditions. Aim of this study was to assess the performance of these serological tests in the presence of gastric neoplasia.
Histological and serological samples of 118 patients with gastric cancer have been assessed for tumor specific characteristics (Laurén type, localisation), degree of mucosal abnormalities (intestinal metaplasia, atrophy) and serological parameters (PG1, PG2, PG1/2-ratio, G17, H. pylori IgG, CagA status). Association of the general factors to the different serological values have been statistically analyzed.
Patients with intestinal type gastric cancer had lower PG1 levels and a lower PG1/2-ratio compared to those with diffuse type cancer (p = 0.003). The serum levels of PG2 itself and G17 were not significantly altered. H. pylori infection in general had no influence on the levels of PG1, PG2 and G17 in the serum of gastric cancer patients. There was a trend towards lower PG1 levels in case of positive CagA-status (p = 0.058). The degree of both intestinal metaplasia and atrophy correlated inversely with serum levels for PG1 and the PG1/2-ratio (p < 0.01). Laurén-specific analysis revealed that this is only true for intestinal type tumors. Univariate ANOVA revealed atrophy and CagA-status as the only independent factors for low PG1 and a low PG1/2-ratio.
Glandular atrophy and a positive CagA status are determinant factors for decreased pepsinogen 1 levels in the serum of patients with gastric cancer. The serological assessment of gastric atrophy by analysis of serum pepsinogen is only adequate for patients with intestinal type cancer.
Gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori; intestinal metaplasia; glandular atrophy; gastrin; pepsinogen; cardia cancer
The Notch signaling pathway drives proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, cell fate, and maintenance of stem cells in several tissues. Aberrant activation of Notch signaling has been described in several tumours and in gastric cancer (GC), activated Notch1 has been associated with de-differentiation of lineage-committed stomach cells into stem progenitors and GC progression. However, the specific role of the Notch1 ligand (DLL1) in GC has not yet been elucidated. To assess the role of DLL1 in GC cancer, the expression of Notch1 and its ligands DLL1 and Jagged1, was analyzed in 8 gastric cancer cell lines (KATOIII, SNU601, SNU719, AGS, SNU16, MKN1, MKN45, TMK1). DLL1 expression was absent in KATOIII, SNU601, SNU719 and AGS. The lack of DLL1 expression in these cells was associated with promoter hypermethylation and 5-aza-2’deoxycitidine caused up-regulation of DLL1. The increase in DLL1 expression was associated with activation of Notch1 signalling, with an increase in cleaved Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD) and Hes1, and down-regulation in Hath1. Concordantly, Notch1 signalling was activated with the overexpression of DLL1. Moreover, Notch1 signalling together with DLL1 methylation were evaluated in samples from 52 GC patients and 21 healthy control as well as in INS-GAS mice infected with H. pylori and randomly treated with eradication therapy. In GC patients, we found a correlation between DLL1 and Hes1 expression, while DLL1 methylation and Hath1 expression were associated with the diffuse and mixed type of gastric cancer. Finally, none of the samples from INS-GAS mice infected with H. pylori, a model of intestinal-type gastric tumorigenesis, showed promoter methylation of DLL1. This study shows that Notch1 activity in gastric cancer is controlled by the epigenetic silencing of the ligand DLL1, and that Notch1 inhibition is associated with the diffuse type of gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer; Methylation; Notch; Delta like-1
Several polymorphisms of genes involved in the immunological recognition of Helicobacter pylori and regulating apoptosis and proliferation have been linked to gastric carcinogenesis, however reported data are partially conflicting. The aim of our study was to evaluate potential associations between the presence of gastric cancer (GC) and high risk atrophic gastritis (HRAG) and polymorphisms of genes encoding Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), Nod-like receptor 1 (NOD1), Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and FAS/FASL.
Gene polymorphisms were analyzed in 574 subjects (GC: n = 114; HRAG: n = 222, controls: n = 238) of Caucasian origin. ACE I/D (rs4646994), NOD1 796G>A (rs5743336), TLR4 3725G>C (rs11536889), FAS 1377G>A (rs2234767), FAS 670A>G (rs1800682) and FASL 844T>C (rs763110) were genotyped by different PCR approaches and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.
Frequencies of genotypes in our study are similar to the data reported on subjects of Caucasian ethnicity. There was a tendency for NOD1 796G/G genotype to be associated with increased risk of HRAG (62.4% vs. 54.5% in controls, p = 0.082). FAS 670G/G genotype was more frequent in HRAG when compared to controls, 23.9% and 17.2% respectively, however it failed to reach significance level (p = 0.077). We did not find any significant associations for all polymorphisms in relation to GC or HRAG. NOD1 796G>A and TLR4 3725G>C gene polymorphisms were also not associated with Helicobacter pylori infection.
ACE, NOD1, TRL4 and FAS/FASL gene polymorphisms are not linked with gastric carcinogenesis in Caucasians, and therefore they should not be considered as potential biomarkers for identifying individuals with higher risk for GC.
Leukotrienes (LT) mediate allergic and inflammatory processes. Previously, we identified significant changes in the expression pattern of LT receptors in the gastric mucosa after eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) and LT receptors in gastric cancer (GC).
The expression of 5-LOX and receptors for LTB4 (BLT-1, BLT-2) and cysteinyl-LT (CysLT-1, CysLT-2) were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in GC samples of 35 consecutive patients who underwent gastrectomy and in 29 tumor-free tissue specimens from gastric mucosa.
Male-to-female ratio was 24:11. The median age was 70 years (range 34–91). Twenty-two patients had GC of intestinal, six of diffuse, six of mixed and one of undifferentiated type. The IHC analysis showed a nearly ubiquitous expression of studied proteins in GC (88–97%) and in tumor-free specimens as well (89–100%). An increase in the immunoreactive score of both BLT receptors and CysLT-1 was observed in GC compared to tumor-free gastric mucosa (p < 0.001 for BLT-1; p < 0.01 for BLT-2 and CysLT-1, Mann-Whitney U-test). No differences in the IHC expression of 5-LOX and CsyLT-2 were observed between GC and tumor-free mucosa. The expression of BLT-2, CysLT-1 and CysLT-2 was increased in GC of intestinal type when compared to the diffuse type (p < 0.05; Mann-Whitney U-test).
LTB4 receptors and CysLT-1 are up-regulated in GC tissue implying a role in gastric carcinogenesis.
leukotriene receptors; gastric cancer; cysteinyl-leukotrienes
Mucosal levels of Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor (SLPI) are specifically reduced in relation to H. pylori-induced gastritis. Progranulin is an epithelial growth factor that is proteolytically degraded into fragments by elastase (the main target of SLPI). Considering the role of SLPI for regulating the activity of elastase, we studied whether the H. pylori-induced reduction of SLPI and the resulting increase of elastase-derived activity would reduce the Progranulin protein levels both ex vivo and in vitro.
The expression of Progranulin was studied in biopsies of H. pylori-positive, -negative and -eradicated subjects as well as in the gastric tumor cell line AGS by ELISA, immunohistochemistry and real-time RT-PCR.
H. pylori-infected subjects had about 2-fold increased antral Progranulin expression compared to H. pylori-negative and -eradicated subjects (P < 0.05). Overall, no correlations between mucosal Progranulin and SLPI levels were identified. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed the upregulation of Progranulin in relation to H. pylori infection; both epithelial and infiltrating immune cells contributed to the higher Progranulin expression levels. The H. pylori-induced upregulation of Progranulin was verified in AGS cells infected by H. pylori. The down-regulation of endogenous SLPI expression in AGS cells by siRNA methodology did not affect the Progranulin expression independent of the infection by H. pylori.
Taken together, Progranulin was identified as novel molecule that is upregulated in context to H. pylori infection. In contrast to other diseases, SLPI seems not to have a regulatory role for Progranulin in H. pylori-mediated gastritis.
Probiotic bacteria are live microorganisms which confer to health benefits of the host. They help to maintain the integrity of the intestinal barrier function by modulating the mucosal and systemic immune response of the host. These bacteria have proven their beneficial effect in several conditions of ulcerative colitis. More recently probiotics/synbiotics have been included in the treatment of critically ill patients. However to date it remains uncertain whether probiotics/synbiotics are beneficial or even dangerous to the clinical outcome of this patient group. This article reviews the current evidence of the use of bacteria in critically ill patients in intensive care settings.
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) are a rare cause of echo-poor pancreatic head enlargement. Histologically, IMTs are characterized by spindle-shaped myofibroblasts or fibroblasts accompanied by a mixed immune cell infiltration. The most common localizations of IMTs have been reported in lung, mesentery and omentum, especially in children and young adults. IMTs show infiltrating growth, multilocular appearance and also metastasis have been reported. Curative resection is the only therapeutic option so far. In the palliative situation, evident data and clear guidelines for this rare tumor entity are missing. We report on a 44-year-old male with an unresectable IMT of the pancreatic head causing recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis that resulted in a chronic obstructive course of the disease. The patient entered a palliative therapeutic regimen including radiation therapy and antiinflammatory medication. In a regular follow-up of 12 months, he presented with stable disease after initial progression. This case of local progressive IMT of the pancreatic head was managed with a palliative therapeutic regimen and is discussed based on the current literature.
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor; Pancreas; Recurrent acute pancreatitis; Chronic obstructive pancreatitis
The product of CDKN2A, p16 is an essential regulator of the cell cycle controlling the entry into the S-phase. Herein, we evaluated CDKN2A promoter methylation and p16 protein expression for the differentiation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from other liver tumors.
Tumor and corresponding non-tumor liver tissue samples were obtained from 85 patients with liver tumors. CDKN2A promoter methylation was studied using MethyLight technique and methylation-specific PCR (MSP). In the MethyLight analysis, samples with ≥ 4% of PMR (percentage of methylated reference) were regarded as hypermethylated. p16 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in tissue sections (n = 148) obtained from 81 patients using an immunoreactivity score (IRS) ranging from 0 (no expression) to 6 (strong expression).
Hypermethylation of the CDKN2A promoter was found in 23 HCCs (69.7%; mean PMR = 42.34 ± 27.8%), six (20.7%; mean PMR = 31.85 ± 18%) liver metastases and in the extralesional tissue of only one patient. Using MSP, 32% of the non-tumor (n = 85), 70% of the HCCs, 40% of the CCCs and 24% of the liver metastases were hypermethylated. Correspondingly, nuclear p16 expression was found immunohistochemically in five (10.9%, mean IRS = 0.5) HCCs, 23 (92%; mean IRS = 4.9) metastases and only occasionally in hepatocytes of non-lesional liver tissues (mean IRS = 1.2). The difference of CDKN2A-methylation and p16 protein expression between HCCs and liver metastases was statistically significant (p < 0.01, respectively).
Promoter methylation of CDKN2A gene and lack of p16 expression characterize patients with HCC.
The association of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) with gastric cancer is thus far the best understood model to comprehend the causal relationship between a microbial pathogen and cancer in the human gastrointestinal tract. Besides H. pylori, a variety of other pathogens are now being recognized as potential carcinogens in different settings of human cancer. In this context, viral causes of human cancers are central to the issue since these account for 10–20% of cancers worldwide. In the case of H. pylori and gastric cancer, as well as the human papillomavirus and anal cancer, the causal relationship between the infectious agent and the related cancer in the gastrointestinal tract has been clearly confirmed by epidemiological and experimental studies. Similarly, Epstein–Barr virus and the oncogenic JC virus are being suggested as possible causative agents for cancers in the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. This review discusses various viral and microbial pathogens and their oncogenic properties in the evolution of gastrointestinal carcinogenesis and summarizes the available experimental data make a convincing agreement favoring the associations between infectious agents and specific human cancers.
AIM: To study the impact of an endoscopy-based long-term study on the quality of life in healthy volunteers (HV).
METHODS: Ten HV were included into a long-term prospective endoscopy-based placebo-controlled trial with 15 endoscopic examinations per person in 5 different drug phases. Participants completed short form-36 (SF-36) and visual analog scale-based questionnaires (VAS) for different abdominal symptoms at days 0, 7 and 14 of each drug phase. Analyses were performed according to short- and long-term changes and compared to the control group.
RESULTS: All HV completed the study with duration of more than 6 mo. Initial quality of life score was comparable to a general population. Analyses of the SF-36 questionnaires showed no significant changes in physical, mental and total scores, either in a short-term perspective due to different medications, or to potentially endoscopic procedure-associated long-term cumulative changes. Analogous to SF-36, VAS revealed no significant changes in total scores for pathological abdominal symptoms and remained unchanged over the time course and when compared to the control population.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that quality of life in HV is not significantly affected by a long-term endoscopy-based study with multiple endoscopic procedures.
Endoscopy research; Ethics; Healthy volunteers; Quality of life
The clinical course of chronic pancreatitis is still unpredictable, which relates to the lack of the availability of a clinical classification. Therefore, patient populations cannot be compared, the course and the outcome of the disease remain undetermined in the individual patient, and treatment is not standardized.
To establish a clinical classification for chronic pancreatitis which is user friendly, transparent, relevant, prognosis- as well as treatment-related and offers a frame for future disease evaluation.
Diagnostic requirements will include one clinical criterion, in combination with well defined imaging or functional abnormalities.
A classification system consisting of three stages (A, B and C) is presented, which fulfils the above-mentioned criteria. Clinical criteria are: pain, recurrent attacks of pancreatitis, complications of chronic pancreatitis (e.g. bile duct stenosis), steatorrhea, and diabetes mellitus. Imaging criteria consist of ductal or parenchymal changes observed by ultrasonography, ERCP, CT, MRI, and/or endosonography.
A new classification of chronic pancreatitis, based on combination of clinical signs, morphology and function, is presented. It is easy to handle and an instrument to study and to compare the natural course, the prognosis and treatment of patients with chronic pancreatitis.
We investigated the impact of promoter methylation on APC protein expression in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Materials and methods
50 patients [HCC (n=19), liver metastasis (n=19), cholangiocellular cancer (n=7), and benign liver tumors (n=5)] were studied for methylation using Methylight analysis. APC mutation was investigated by protein truncation test and direct sequencing of genomic DNA. The protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis.
The APC promoter was hypermethylated in 81.8% of non-cancerous liver tissue samples. All HCC samples and ten patients with liver metastasis (52.6%) exhibited APC promoter methylation. The degree of methylation was significantly higher in samples from HCC compared to the non-cancerous liver tissue samples (63.1% vs. 24.98%; p=0.001). The level of APC protein expression was significantly reduced in HCC samples compared to that of the corresponding non-tumor liver tissue (p<0.05).
Promoter methylation of the APC gene seems to be of significance in hepatocarcinogenesis and results in reduced protein expression in HCC. Interestingly, APC promoter methylation is also present in the vast majority of non-cancerous liver tissue whose (patho)physiological function remains unresolved.
Promoter methylation; APC; Methylight assay; Protein; Hepatocellular carcinoma