Published online Apr 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i15.2445
Revised: January 2, 2006
Accepted: January 14, 2006
Published online: April 21, 2006
AIM: To observe the effects of acid and bile acid exposure on cell proliferation and the expression of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in normal human esophageal epithelial cells in vitro.
METHODS: In vitro cultured normal human esophageal epithelial cells were exposed to acidic media (pH 4.0 - 6.5), media containing different bile acid (250 μmol/L), media containing acid and bile acid, respectively. Cell proliferation was assessed using MTT and flow cytometry. The expressions of phosphorylated ERK1/2 and PPARγ protein were determined by the immunoblotting technique.
RESULTS: Acid-exposed (3 min) esophageal cells exhibited a significant increase in proliferation ratio, S phase of the cell cycle (P < 0.05) and the level of phosphorylated ERK1/2 protein. When the acid-exposure period exceeded 6 min, we observed a decrease in proliferation ratio and S phase of the cell cycle, with an increased apoptosis ratio (P < 0.05). Bile acid exposure (3-12 min) also produced an increase in proliferation ratio, S phase of the cell cycle (P < 0.05) and phosphorylated ERK1/2 expression. On the contrary, deoxycholic acid (DCA) exposure (> 20 min) decreased proliferation ratio. Compared with bile acid exposure (pH 7.4), bile acid exposure (pH 6.5, 4) significantly decreased proliferation ratio (P < 0.05). There was no expression of PPARγ in normal human esophageal epithelial cells.
CONCLUSION: The rapid stimuli of acid or bile acid increase proliferation in normal human esophageal epithelial cells by activating the ERK pathway.