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J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Oct;16(4):374-88. doi: 10.5056/jnm.2010.16.4.374. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Viewpoints on Acid-induced inflammatory mediators in esophageal mucosa.

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Department of Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.


We have focused on understanding the onset of gastroesophageal reflux disease by examining the mucosal response to the presence of acid in the esophageal lumen. Upon exposure to HCl, inflammation of the esophagus begins with activation of the transient receptor potential channel vanilloid subfamily member-1 (TRPV1) in the mucosa, and production of IL-8, substance P (SP), calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) and platelet activating factor (PAF). Production of SP and CGRP, but not PAF, is abolished by the neural blocker tetrodotoxin suggesting that SP and CGRP are neurally released and that PAF arises from non neural pathways. Epithelial cells contain TRPV1 receptor mRNA and protein and respond to HCl and to the TRPV1 agonist capsaicin with production of PAF. PAF, SP and IL-8 act as chemokines, inducing migration of peripheral blood leukocytes. PAF and SP activate peripheral blood leukocytes inducing the production of H(2)O(2). In circular muscle, PAF causes production of IL-6, and IL-6 causes production of additional H(2)O(2), through activation of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidases. Among these, NADPH oxidase 5 cDNA is significantly up-regulated by exposure to PAF; H(2)O(2) content of esophageal and lower esophageal sphincter circular muscle is elevated in human esophagitis, causing dysfunction of esophageal circular muscle contraction and reduction in esophageal sphincter tone. Thus esophageal keratinocytes, that constitute the first barrier to the refluxate, may also serve as the initiating cell type in esophageal inflammation, secreting inflammatory mediators and pro-inflammatory cytokines and affecting leukocyte recruitment and activity.


Cytokines; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Platelet activating factor; Substance P; TRPV1

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