Journal Article

Spontaneous ECLomas in cotton rats (<i>Sigmodon hispidus</i>): tumours occurring in hypoacidic/hypergastrinaemic animals with normal parietal cells

Guanglin Cui, Gunnar Qvigstad, Sture Falkmer, Arne K. Sandvik, Shiro Kawase and Helge L. Waldum

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 21, issue 1, pages 23-27
Published in print January 2000 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online January 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
Spontaneous ECLomas in cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus): tumours occurring in hypoacidic/hypergastrinaemic animals with normal parietal cells

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We have identified cotton rats with a high female-predominant occurrence of spontaneous gastric carcinomas localized to the oxyntic mucosa, classified as malignant enterochromaffin-like (ECL) omas. The present study was made to further characterize these ECLomas and surrounding oxyntic mucosa, both morphologically using histochemical and immunohistochemical methods, and for gene expression by northern blot analysis. Among eight female cotton rats, three had an irregularly thickened oxyntic mucosa, increased stomach weight and a high serum gastrin level. Histopathological examination showed adenomatous hyperplasia of the thickened oxyntic mucosa with areas of an invasive neoplastic tumour. Immunohistochemistry, using the general neuroendocrine cell marker chromogranin A (CgA) and the specific ECL cell marker histidine decarboxylase (HDC), showed a considerably increased ECL cell density. These ECL cells displayed active proliferation, with hyperplasia, dysplasia and neoplasia. Parietal cells were not found in the tumour tissue. Parietal cell density was only slightly reduced in the surrounding oxyntic mucosa. The antral mucosa was histopathologically normal with a normal number of gastrin-immunoreactive cells. Likewise, somatostatin-immunoreactive cells did not show any differences in the antral and oxyntic mucosa between rats with pathological and normal oxyntic mucosa. Northern blot analysis revealed increased expression of CgA and HDC mRNA in the thickened oxyntic mucosa, whereas H+/K+ ATPase mRNA was similar in the oxyntic mucosa of those with thickened and normal oxyntic mucosa. Gastrin mRNA in the antral mucosa was high in animals with thickened oxyntic mucosa. Somatostatin mRNA expression was similar in the antral mucosa of control animals and animals with a thickened oxyntic mucosa. We conclude that the spontaneous gastric carcinoma occurring in female cotton rats is an ECLoma developing secondary to hypergastrinaemia due to reduced intragastric pH. The mechanism for reduced acidity is not known, but is not gastric atrophy.

Keywords: ABC, avidin–biotin–peroxidase complex; AEC, 3-amino-9-ethylcarbazole; CgA, chromogranin A; ECL, enterochromaffin-like; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde 3′-phosphate dehydrogenase; HDC, histidine decarboxylase; HE, haematoxylin and eosin; IHC, immunohistochemistry; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; PCNA, proliferating cell nuclear antigen.

Journal Article.  3061 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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