LGR5-Expressing Cells in the Healing Process of Post-ESD Ulcers in Gastric Corpus

Dig Dis Sci. 2022 Jun;67(6):2134-2142. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-07059-2. Epub 2021 Jun 3.


Background: LGR5 is a promising stem cell marker in gastric pylorus, but there are few reports on its expression in human gastric corpus.

Aims: To investigate the involvement of LGR5 expression in gastric corpus ulcer regeneration in humans.

Methods: LGR5 expression was analyzed in five post-ESD ulcers during the healing process of regenerating epithelial cells of the gastric corpus. LGR5 expression was detected by mRNA in situ hybridization using an RNA scope kit. Immunohistochemistry of MUC6, HIK1083, and pepsinogen 1 (PG1) was performed to identify cell differentiation.

Results: We defined MUC6+/HIK1083-/PG1-, MUC6+/HIK1083+/PG1-, MUC6+/HIK1083+/PG1+, MUC6+/HIK1083-/PG1+, and MUC6-/HIK1083-/PG1+cells as pseudopyloric mucosa (PPM) phase 1 (PPM1), PPM phase 2 (PPM2), PPM phase 3 (PPM3), immature chief cells (ICC), and mature chief cells (MCC) in order from the ulcer center, respectively. In the regenerated mucosa around post-ESD ulcers, LGR5 expression was observed throughout the gland in PPM1-PPM3, but it was limited to the bottom of the gland in ICC and MCC. Furthermore, LGR5 expression was not identified in the normal gastric corpus. The H-score of PPM2 was significantly higher than that of PPM3 (P = 0.0313). The H-score of PPM3 was significantly higher than that of ICC (P = 0.0313). The LGR5 H-score was higher at the immature stage, which decreased gradually with progression of the differentiation stage.

Conclusions: LGR5 expression appears to contribute to mucosal regeneration in the human gastric corpus. The application of LGR5 expression analysis to mucosal regeneration and fundic gland-type gastric tumors is expected.

Keywords: Chief cell; LGR5; Pseudopyloric metaplasia; RNA in situ hybridization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Stomach Ulcer* / pathology
  • Ulcer / pathology


  • LGR5 protein, human
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled