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Histol Histopathol. 2011 Jun;26(6):679-88. doi: 10.14670/HH-26.679.

Cytoglobin expression of rectal subepithelial myofibroblasts: significant alterations of cytoglobin+ stromal cells in long-standing ulcerative colitis.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Minami-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan.


Cytoglobin/stellate cell activation-associated protein (Cygb/STAP), a hemoprotein, functions as part of an O2 reservoir with protective effects against oxidative stress in hepatic stellate cells. Heterogeneous expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)+ and/or α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA)+ has been noted in subepithelial myofibroblasts and interstitial cells of the same lineage in the colorectum. We have demonstrated that early genomic instability of both epithelial and stromal cells in ulcerative colitis (UC) is important for colorectal tumorigenesis, as well as for mucosal remodeling. To further clarify possible roles of stromal cells in mucosal remodeling and tumor development in UC, we here focused on Cygb expression of subepithelial myofibroblasts and interstitial cells, as well as αSMA and HSP47. Noncancerous mucosa of resected rectae from UC patients with or without colorectal neoplasia (14 and 20 cases, respectively) and of sporadic rectal cancer cases (16) was analyzed immunohistochemically, as well as by immuno-fluorescence and electron microscopy. The results, heterogeneous phenotypes of Cygb+, αSMA+ and HSP47+ subepithelial myofibroblasts and interstitial cells, corresponding to rectal stellate cells, were demonstrated. A decrease of Cygb+ subepithelial myofibroblasts and an increase of αSMA+ interstitial cells were significant in UC, as compared to normal rectal mucosa. Furthermore, a decrease of Cygb+ subepithelial myofibroblasts, correlating with αSMA+ and HSP47+ cells, was significant in long-standing UC with neoplasia. In conclusion, there are heterogeneous phenotypes of Cygb+, αSMA+ and HSP47+ subepithelial myofibroblasts and interstitial cells in the rectal mucosa. Mucosal remodeling with alterations of Cygb+ and/or αSMA+/HSP47+ stromal cells might have some relation to UC-associated tumorigenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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