Published online Oct 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i37.8349
Peer-review started: June 24, 2016
First decision: August 8, 2016
Revised: August 18, 2016
Accepted: September 8, 2016
Article in press: September 8, 2016
Published online: October 7, 2016
To investigate the roles of the neuropeptides vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P (SP), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in chronic gastritis and duodenitis in children.
Biopsy samples from the gastric and duodenal mucosa of 52 patients and 30 control subjects were obtained. Samples were taken for pathological examination, immunohistochemical staining, enzyme activity measurements and quantitative measurements of tissue peptide levels.
We observed differential effects of the disease on peptide levels, which were somewhat different from previously reported changes in chronic gastritis in adults. Specifically, SP was increased and CGRP and VIP were decreased in patients with gastritis. The changes were more prominent at sites where gastritis was severe, but significant changes were also observed in neighboring areas where gastritis was less severe. Furthermore, the degree of changes was correlated with the pathological grade of the disease. The expression of CD10, the enzyme primarily involved in SP hydrolysis, was also decreased in patients with duodenitis.
Based on these findings, we propose that decreased levels of VIP and CGRP and increased levels of SP contribute to pathological changes in gastric mucosa. Hence, new treatments targeting these molecules may have therapeutic and preventive effects.
Core tip: The etiology and pathogenesis of childhood gastritis are not entirely known. The lamina propria of the gastrointestinal tract includes sensory neuropeptides that regulate gastric blood flow, local inflammatory responses and healing processes. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), substance P (SP), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are such neuropeptides, and their roles in chronic childhood gastritis are not known. In this study, we investigated the changes in neuropeptides in childhood gastritis and duodenitis. Disturbances in the neuropeptide content in gastric mucosa may cause gastritis. On the basis of our findings, we propose that decreased levels of VIP and CGRP and increased levels of SP may contribute to pathological changes in gastric mucosa. New treatments targeting these molecules may have therapeutic and preventive effects.