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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(5), 1091;

Exploration of the Esophageal Mucosal Barrier in Non-Erosive Reflux Disease

Division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), Maastricht University Medical Center, 6229 HX Maastricht, The Netherlands
Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders, Catholic University Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (Ciberehd), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy, University of Pécs, 7623 Pécs, Hungary
János Szentágothai Research Center, University of Pécs, 7623 Pécs, Hungary
MTA-PTE NAP B Chronic Pain Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pécs, 7623 Pécs, Hungary
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marco G. Patti
Received: 16 March 2017 / Revised: 5 May 2017 / Accepted: 13 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: It Is More than Just Heartburn)
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In the absence of visible mucosal damage, it is hypothesized that the esophageal mucosal barrier is functionally impaired in patients with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD). The aim of the present study was to perform an exploratory analysis of the mucosal barrier in NERD compared to erosive esophagitis (EE) and controls. A second aim was to explore TRPV1 gene transcription in relation to the mucosal barrier function and heartburn symptoms. In this prospective study, 10 NERD patients, 11 patients with active erosive esophagitis and 10 healthy volunteers were included. Biopsies from non-eroded mucosa were obtained for (1) ex vivo analyses (Ussing chamber) of transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and permeability (2) gene transcription of tight-junction proteins and transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member 1 (TRPV1). No differences in TEER or permeability were found between NERD and healthy volunteers, whereas TEER was lower in patients with erosive esophagitis. TRPV1 gene transcription was not significantly different between EE, NERD and controls. Conclusions: esophageal mucosal barrier function and TRPV1 transcription is not significantly altered in NERD patients. Future research is needed to explore other potential mechanisms that may account for the high symptom burden in these patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: mucosal integrity; Ussing chamber; erosive esophagitis; non-erosive reflux disease; transepithelial electrical resistance; TRPV1; heartburn mucosal integrity; Ussing chamber; erosive esophagitis; non-erosive reflux disease; transepithelial electrical resistance; TRPV1; heartburn

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Rinsma, N.F.; Farré, R.; Troost, F.J.; Elizalde, M.; Keszthelyi, D.; Helyes, Z.; Masclee, A.A.; Conchillo, J.M. Exploration of the Esophageal Mucosal Barrier in Non-Erosive Reflux Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1091.

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