Profiling cellular bioenergetics, glutathione levels, and caspase activities in stomach biopsies of patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms

Ali S. Alfazari, Bayan Al-Dabbagh, Wafa Al-Dhaheri, Mazen S. Taha, Ahmad A. Chebli, Eva M. Fontagnier, Zaher Koutoubi, Jose Kochiyi, Sherif M. Karam, Abdul Kader Souid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: To measure biochemical parameters in stomach biopsies and test their suitability as diagnostic biomarkers for gastritis and precancerous lesions. METHODS: Biopsies were obtained from the stomachs of two groups of patients (n = 40) undergoing fiberoptic endoscopy due to upper gastrointestinal symptoms. In the first group (n = 17), only the corpus region was examined. Biopsies were processed for microscopic examination and measurement of mitochondrial O2 consumption (cellular respiration), cellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP), glutathione (GSH), and caspase activity. In the second group of patients (n = 23), both corpus and antral regions were studied. Some biopsies were processed for microscopic examination, while the others were used for measurements of cellular respiration and GSH level. RESULTS: Microscopic examinations of gastric corpus biopsies from 17 patients revealed normal mucosae in 8 patients, superficial gastritis in 7 patients, and chronic atrophic gastritis in 1 patient. In patients with normal histology, the rate (mean ± SD) of cellular respiration was 0.17 ± 0.02 mol/L O2 min-1 mg-1, ATP content was 487 ± 493 pmol/mg, and GSH was 469 ± 98 pmol/mg. Caspase activity was detected in 3 out of 8 specimens. The values of ATP and caspase activity were highly variable. The presence of superficial gastritis had insignificant effects on the measured biomarkers. In the patient with atrophic gastritis, cellular respiration was high and ATP was relatively low, suggesting uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation. In the second cohort of patients, the examined biopsies showed either normal or superficial gastritis. The rate of cellular respiration (O2. mol/L min-1 mg-1) was slightly higher in the corpus than the antrum (0.18 ± 0.05 vs 0.15 ± 0.04, P = 0.019). The value of GSH was about the same in both tissues (310 ± 135 vs 322 ± 155, P = 0.692). CONCLUSION: The corpus mucosa was metabolically more active than the antrum tissue. The data in this study will help in understanding the pathophysiology of gastric mucosa..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-643
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 14 2015


  • Cellular respiration
  • Gastric mucosa
  • Gastritis
  • Mitochondria
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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