Prospective Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Jan 14, 2015; 21(2): 644-652
Published online Jan 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i2.644
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
Ali S Alfazari, Bayan Al-Dabbagh, Department of Medicine, United Arab Emirates University, PO Box 17666, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Bayan Al-Dabbagh, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, UAE University, PO Box 15551, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Wafa Al-Dhaheri, Sherif M Karam, Department of Anatomy, United Arab Emirates University, PO Box 17666, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Mazen S Taha, Ahmad A Chebli, Eva M Fontagnier, Zaher Koutoubi, Tawam Hospital, PO Box 15258, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Jose Kochiyi, Abdul-Kader Souid, Department of Pediatrics, United Arab Emirates University, PO Box 15258, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Author contributions: Alfazari AS, Karam SM and Souid AK designed the study, interpreted the data and drafted the manuscript; Al-Dabbagh B performed the biochemical analyses; Al-Dhaheri W performed the histological study; Kochiyi J performed the HPLC study; Taha MS, Chebli AA, Fontagnier EM and Koutoubi Z supplied the clinical samples; all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Supported by Grants from United Arab Emirates University and National Research Foundation, No. UAEU-NRF 31M096.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Sherif M Karam, Professor, Department of Anatomy, United Arab Emirates University, PO Box 17666, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.
Telephone: +971-3-7137493 Fax: +971-3-7672033
Received: April 21, 2014
Peer-review started: April 21, 2014
First decision: May 29, 2014
Revised: June 30, 2014
Accepted: July 30, 2014
Article in press: July 30, 2014
Published online: January 14, 2015

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 fiber-optic 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 μmol/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.μmol/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.

Keywords: Stomach, Gastritis, Mitochondria, Gastric mucosa, Cellular respiration

Core tip: Using small gastric mucosal biopsies obtained from patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms, several cellular bioenergetic and dynamic parameters were measured and correlated with the histopathological features of the gastric mucosa.