Background: The fibrillar collagens, types I and III, have been demonstrated in healthy human gastric mucosa as well as in the submucosa of gastric ulcer edges, where they are remarkably increased.
Methods: To verify the occurrence and activity of de novo collagen synthesis, we examined gastric biopsy specimens from six patients with antral ulcers and six normal controls. By means of in situ hybridization, using a 35S-labeled RNA probe, we could localize the specific procollagen mRNA for type-I collagen.
Results: In normal gastric mucosa this mRNA was expressed by only a very limited number of cells, whereas at the ulcer edges the specific signal could be demonstrated in a large number of submucosal cells.
Conclusion: These results suggest a substantial role of fibroneogenesis in the process of gastric ulcer healing.