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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 19;9(6):e99944. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099944. eCollection 2014.

Altered goblet cell differentiation and surface mucus properties in Hirschsprung disease.

Author information

1
Department of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
3
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
4
Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Abstract

Hirschsprung disease-associated enterocolitis (HAEC) leads to significant mortality and morbidity, but its pathogenesis remains unknown. Changes in the colonic epithelium related to goblet cells and the luminal mucus layer have been postulated to play a key role. Here we show that the colonic epithelium of both aganglionic and ganglionic segments are altered in patients and in mice with Hirschsprung disease (HSCR). Structurally, goblet cells were altered with increased goblet cell number and reduced intracellular mucins in the distal colon of biopsies from patients with HSCR. Endothelin receptor B (Ednrb) mutant mice showed increased goblet cell number and size and increased cell proliferation compared to wild-type mice in aganglionic segments, and reduced goblet cell size and number in ganglionic segments. Functionally, compared to littermates, Ednrb-/- mice showed increased transepithelial resistance, reduced stool water content and similar chloride secretion in the distal colon. Transcript levels of goblet cell differentiation factors SPDEF and Math1 were increased in the distal colon of Ednrb-/- mice. Both distal colon from Ednrb mice and biopsies from HSCR patients showed reduced Muc4 expression as compared to controls, but similar expression of Muc2. Particle tracking studies showed that mucus from Ednrb-/- mice provided a more significant barrier to diffusion of 200 nm nanoparticles as compared to wild-type mice. These results suggest that aganglionosis is associated with increased goblet cell proliferation and differentiation and subsequent altered surface mucus properties, prior to the development of inflammation in the distal colon epithelium. Restoration of normal goblet cell function and mucus layer properties in the colonic epithelium may represent a therapeutic strategy for prevention of HAEC.

PMID:
24945437
PMCID:
PMC4063789
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0099944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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