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Dig Dis Sci. 2011 Jun;56(6):1637-44. doi: 10.1007/s10620-010-1516-7. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

Myenteric denervation downregulates galectin-1 and -3 expression in gastric carcinogenesis.

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Department of Anatomy, São José do Rio Preto School of Medicine, FAMERP, Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima 5416, São José do Rio Preto, 15090-000 São Paulo, Brazil.



This study evaluated the galectin-1 and -3 expression during N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG)-induced gastric carcinogenesis in denervated rat stomachs using benzalkonium chloride.


Four experimental situations were evaluated: nondenervated and denervated stomachs without lesions and nondenervated and denervated stomachs with lesions. Sections of the pyloric region were stained with toluidine blue and incubated with mouse monoclonal anti-Gal-1 and rabbit polyclonal anti-Gal-3 for histopathological and immunohistochemical analysis, respectively.


MNNG caused the development of benign and malignant epithelial lesions, which were more pronounced in nondenervated stomachs with lesions and accompanied by inflammatory cell-enriched stroma. By immunostaining, the epithelial cells, blood vessels, muscle layer, and myenteric plexus were Gal-1 and -3 positive. Gal-3 was also detected in the gastric crypts, mucus secretion, and fibroblasts of pyloric fragments. Development of lesions in denervated stomachs was associated with a significant decrease in Gal-1 and -3 expression in epithelial cells, mast cells, and neutrophil cytoplasm, compared with that of nondenervated stomach lesions (P < 0.01; P < 0.001; P < 0.001, respectively).


These results demonstrate that myenteric denervation downregulates endogenous Gal-1 and -3 expression, which might inhibit tumor development in this experimental model.

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