Innervation of the gastric mucosa plays an important role in its defense mechanism. In a previous study, gastrectomy with denervation promoted tumorigenesis in the gastric body in rats after administration of a carcinogenic agent. In this study we investigated the induced gastric mucosal changes from the viewpoint of mucin histochemistry. Gastrectomy with denervation promoted the development of intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, and carcinoma in the gastric body. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen labeling indexes as a marker for cell kinetics were significantly elevated in the denervated group. Analysis of mucin histochemistry by staining with paradoxical concanavalin A (PCA) and galactose oxidase-Schiff (GOS), which are markers for expression of the gastric phenotype, revealed that these mucins were positive in submucosal adenocystic proliferation and carcinoma at the anastomotic site. Conversely, in the gastric body these mucins disappeared with progression of dysplasia, and carcinoma cells contained neither PCA- nor GOS-positive mucins. These results suggest that there are two different processes of carcinogenesis in the gastric remnant, depending on the location, and that denervation of the remnant gastric mucosa promotes the development of cancer-related lesions in the gastric body.
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