Interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) are known as the pacemaker cells of gastrointestinal tract, and it has been reported that acute gastroenteritis induces intestinal dysmotility through antibody to vinculin, a cytoskeletal protein in gut, resulting in small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, so that anti-vinculin antibody can be used as a biomarker for irritable bowel syndrome. This study aimed to determine correlation between serum anti-vinculin antibody and ICC density in human stomach. Gastric specimens from 45 patients with gastric cancer who received gastric surgery at Kangwon National University Hospital from 2013 to 2017 were used. ICC in inner circular muscle, and myenteric plexus were counted. Corresponding patient's blood samples were used to determine the amount of anti-vinculin antibody by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Analysis was done to determine correlation between anti-vinculin antibody and ICC numbers. Patients with elevated anti-vinculin antibody titer (above median value) had significantly lower number of ICC in inner circular muscle (71.0 vs. 240.5, p = 0.047), and myenteric plexus (12.0 vs. 68.5, p < 0.01) compared to patients with lower anti-vinculin antibody titer. Level of serum anti-vinculin antibody correlated significantly with density of ICC in myenteric plexus (r = -0.379, p = 0.01; Spearman correlation). Increased level of circulating anti-vinculin antibody was significantly correlated with decreased density of ICC in myenteric plexus of human stomach.
Keywords: Gastrointestinal motility; Interstitial cells of Cajal; Stomach; Vinculin.
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