COX-2 mRNA Expression is Significantly Increased in Acid-exposed Compared to Nonexposed Squamous Epithelium in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Lurje, Georg ; Vallbohmer, Daniel ; Collet, Peter ; Xi, Huan ; Baldus, Stephan ; Brabender, Jan ; Metzger, Ralf ; Heitmann, Michaela ; Neiss, Susanne ; Drebber, Ute ; Holscher, Arnulf ; Schneider, Paul

In: Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, 2007, vol. 11, no. 9, p. 1105-1111

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    Background: Little is known about the role of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and the development of Barrett's metaplasia. The objectives of this study were to further analyze COX-2 mRNA expression in patients with GERD compared to Barrett's esophagus (BE) and Barrett's cancer (BC). Methods: Tissue samples from 110 patients with GERD (n = 43), BE (n = 20), and BC (n = 47) were obtained in routine upper GI endoscopy. Expression levels of COX-2 were measured by quantitative real-time reverse trancriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Also, 24-h pH monitoring was performed in all patients of the GERD study group and the DeMeester composite score was used to match COX-2 mRNA expression with the severity of acid exposure in the lower esophagus. Results: COX-2 mRNA is progressively upregulated within the metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma (MDA) sequence (p = 0.001). COX-2 levels of the squamous epithelium in the distal esophagus from patients with GERD and a pathologic mean DeMeester score (>14.72) were significantly higher than in patients with normal DeMeester scores (p = 0.01). Conclusion: In summary our findings suggest that alterations in COX-2 mRNA expression occur independently of endoscopic or histologic signs of GERD in the acid-exposed squamous epithelium of the distal esophagus. However, this early COX-2 increase in GERD is further upregulated within the MDA sequence for yet unknown reasons