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Intestinal metaplasia of the oesophagus (Barrett’s oesophagus) is the most important risk factor for oesophageal adenocarcinoma. Although the role of mixed bile and acid gastro-oesophageal reflux is well established, the contribution of nuclear receptor signalling in the pathogenesis of Barrett’s oesophagus remains largely unknown. The recent article by Chang et al. (Gut 2007;56:906–17) showing that retinoic acid and lithocholic acid play an important role in the development of oesophageal intestinal metaplasia, is of particular interest, because retinoid receptors are also heterodimeric partners of multiple nuclear receptors.
We recently published a report demonstrating the over-expression of the …