Amplification and invasiveness of epithelial progenitors during gastric carcinogenesis in trefoil factor 1 knockout mice

S. M. Karam, C. Tomasetto, M. C. Rio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: It is not known whether or not epithelial progenitors of the pyloric antrum are involved in gastric carcinogenesis. Normally, these progenitors give rise to two main cell lineages: pit and gland mucous cells. This study was designed to examine the changes that occur in pyloric antral mucous cell lineages and their progenitors during development of gastric adenoma and carcinoma in trefoil factor 1 (TFF1) knockout mice. Materials and methods: Pyloric antral mucosal tissues of TFF1 knockout mice at ages from 3 days to 17 months were processed for histochemical analysis using Ulex europaeus and Grifforia simplifolica lectins as markers for pit and gland mucous cells, respectively. The dividing epithelial progenitors were identified by using immunohistochemical and electron microscopy techniques. Results: TFF1 loss was associated with amplification of both mucus-secreting pit and gland cells. Both lectins examined bound not only to mature mucous cells, but also to most of epithelial progenitors which gradually amplified with age and frequently were seen in mitosis. Analysis of 12- to 17-month-old TFF1-deficient stomachs revealed occasional groups of poorly differentiated mucosal cells with features similar to those of epithelial progenitors (or stem cells), in the basal portion of the antral mucosa. These cells eventually invaded the muscularis mucosa while maintaining some capacity to differentiate. Conclusion: This study shows that the progenitors of pit and gland mucous cells contribute to gastric carcinogenesis in the pyloric antrum of TFF1 knockout mice, strongly supporting the concept of stem cell origin of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-935
Number of pages13
JournalCell Proliferation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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