Barrett's esophagus is considered to be a precursor to adenocarcinoma and the information on VDR expression in normal and Barrett's esophagus is significantly lacking. In this study, we examined the expression of VDR in the lower esophagus and gastric cardia of normal and Barrett's esophagus by immunofluorescence. Columnar mucosa but not squamous mucosa at the gastroesophageal junction showed positive immunofluorescence to VDR. Submucosal glands and ducts deep to the normal squamous mucosa stained positive for VDR and localized in the cytoplasm and perinuclear regions with no nuclear staining. Interestingly, Barrett's mucosa stained strongly positive for VDR. Glandular structures in the mucosal layer were far less abundant in the Barrett's mucosa than in the normal gastric mucosa. As a result, fewer structures deep to the Barrett's epithelial layer stained positive for VDR when compared to normal gastric mucosa. These findings suggest that in normal esophagus VDR expression is restricted to columnar epithelium and glandular structures. Furthermore, strong VDR expression in Barrett's mucosa may indicate an increased sensitivity of this tissue to endogenous or therapeutic effects of Vitamin D.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry