Background—Monoclonal precancerous cells undergo successive biochemical and genetic changes during the multistep process of carcinogenesis in the gastrointestinal tract. Despite a high association with intestinal-type stomach cancer (differentiated adenocarcinoma of the stomach), the role of intestinal metaplasia is unclear in stomach carcinogenesis.
Aims—To study the clonality of intestinal metaplasia.
Methods—The clonality of 86 single intestinal metaplastic glands isolated by EDTA treatment from gastrectomy specimens from patients with cancer were investigated. The methylation sensitive restriction enzyme HpaII and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to detect a polymorphic human androgen receptor gene locus linked to an inactive X chromosome.
Results—Forty one (48%) intestinal metaplastic glands were heterotypic (mixed cells of different allelic methylation) and 45 (52%) were homotypic (cell population of the same allelic methylation), while almost all the single pyloric glands were homotypic. Eleven of 13 intestinal metaplastic mucosae that were 6 mm in diameter contained glands that had originated from different cells. There were no strong relationships between clonal type and location or histological type of intestinal metaplasia.
Conclusion—Intestinal metaplasia in general is not a lesion that arises or proceeds monoclonally.
- intestinal metaplasia
- X chromosome inactivation
- gastric cancer
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