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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 May 19;271(3):741-6.

An air-liquid interface promotes the differentiation of gastric surface mucous cells (GSM06) in culture.

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Department of Pathology, Saga Medical School, Saga, 849-8501, Japan.


The gastric surface epithelium is situated at an air-liquid interface because the luminal surface of the alimentary tract is in continuity with the air phase. However, the effects of this microenvironment on the gastric epithelium remain unclear. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of an air-liquid interface on gastric epithelial cell biology. Gastric surface mucous cells (GSM06) were cultured at an air-liquid interface. Cultured cells were examined by histology, histochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. When the cells were cultured at an air-liquid interface, the surface cells on the collagen gel became tall columnar and secreted periodic acid-Shiff-positive substances at the apical surface. These cells indicated many mucous granules in the apical cytoplasm and organized the basal lamina at the contact side with the gel. In contrast, under immersed condition, the surface cells showed immature features. This is the first report of an air-liquid interface promoting the differentiation of gastric surface mucous cells in a reconstruction culture of the gastric surface epithelial layer, suggesting that an air-liquid interface may function as a crucial luminal factor to maintain the homeostasis of gastric mucosa.

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