Apoptosis in different gastric lesions and gastric cancer: Relationship with Helicobacter pylori, overexpression of p53 and aneuploidy

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Apoptosis has an essential function in maintaining the integrity of the gastrointestinal mucosa. Its deregulation is associated with the occurrence of lesions such as in atrophic gastritis, peptic ulcers, intestinal metaplasia, and stomach tumorigenesis. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the frequency of apoptotic cells (apoptotic index, AI) by using two different immunohistochemical techniques, TUNEL and anti-activated caspase-3 antibody (CPP32), in gastric dyspepsia [chronic gastritis (CG, N = 34), chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG, N = 11), gastric ulcer (GU, N = 17), and intestinal metaplasia (IM, N = 15)], normal gastric mucosae (NM, N = 8), and gastric adenocarcinoma (GC, N = 12). The relationship was investigated between the AI and Helicobacter pylori infection, diagnosed by PCR, overexpression of p53 protein determined by immunohistochemistry, and aneuploidy by fluorescence in situ hybridization, as performed by our laboratory in previous studies. No significant differences were observed in AI between the different groups, whether by the TUNEL technique (F = 1.60; P = 0.1670) or by CPP32 antibody (F = 1.70; P = 0.1420). Nonetheless, CAG and CG groups had AI statistically higher than those of normal mucosae. These two groups (CAG and CG) also showed a higher frequency of apoptosis-positive cases (TUNEL+ or CPP32+). Generally, there was no correlation between the AI detected by the TUNEL and CPP32 techniques in the groups studied, except in the GC group (r = 0.70). Moreover, there was no significant association between apoptosis and H. pylori infection, overexpression of p53 protein and aneuploidy, but the H. pylori-positive cases only of GU (P = 0.0233) and IM (P = 0.0253) groups displayed a statistically higher AI compared to H. pylori-negative NM, when the CPP32 antibody technique was used. Thus, CG and CAG have increased apoptosis, which may occur independent of an association with H. pylori infection, aneuploidy and overexpression of p53 protein. ©FUNPEC-RP.




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Genetics and Molecular Research, v. 6, n. 3, p. 554-565, 2007.

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