Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, Otto-von-Guericke University, 39120 Magdeburg, Germa...
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Wex, T; Kuester, D; Mönkemüller, K; Stahr, A; Fry, LC; Kandulski, A; Kropf, S; Roessner, A; Malfertheiner, P
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is associated with impaired epithelial barrier function and abnormal expression of proteins forming cell-cell contacts by tight junctions and desmosomes in distal esophageal squamous mucosa. Although gastroesophageal reflux disease and Helicobacter pylori are both associated with chronic inflammation of the adjacent cardia mucosa, it is not known whether these lead to derangements of the desmosomal complexes. Here, we assessed the expression of 4 proteins (plakoglobin and desmoglein 1, 2, and 3) forming epithelial desmosomal complexes by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry in biopsies from 67 patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease and 23 gastroesophageal reflux disease-negative controls. Plakoglobin and desmoglein 2 were ubiquitously expressed in all samples, whereas desmoglein 1 and 3 were not expressed in cardia mucosa. Gastroesophageal reflux disease was specifically associated with elevated transcript levels of desmoglein 2 and plakoglobin. These were significantly increased from 2.0- to 2.7-fold in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease compared with controls (P