Intestinal-type epithelium in Barrett's esophagus, so-called specialized intestinal metaplasia (SIM), is a risk factor for the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Surface expression of decay-accelerating factor (DAF), a complement-regulatory protein, is markedly enhanced in intestinal metaplasia of the gastric mucosa. We therefore examined DAF expression in areas of SIM in Barrett's esophagus in an attempt to determine whether DAF is a biomarker of SIM. We obtained 53 endoscopic biopsy specimens from the esophageal columnar mucosce of 45 patients. We immunohistochemically examined the distribution of DAF and 2 other complement-regulatory proteins: homologous restriction factor-20 and membrane cofactor protein. We also examined the expression of DAF messenger RNA in SIM with the use of laser-capture microdissection and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Of the 53 specimens, 10 were found histologically to involve areas of SIM, 41 were SIM-negative epithelium, and 2 comprised areas of SIM and SIM-negative epithelium. DAF staining was negligible in 35 of 43 specimens of the SIM-negative columnar epithelium, but DAF was strongly stained on the apical surface in all 12 SIM-positive specimens (P < .0001). In the 2 biopsy specimens in which both SIM and SIM-negative columnar epithelium were present, DAF staining was confined to the area of SIM. The expression of DAF messenger RNA was detected significantly more often in SIM than in SIM-negative columnar epithelium (P = .022). We conclude that DAF may be a surface marker for SIM and therefore useful in the identification of areas of the mucosa at risk for the development of adenocarcinoma in Barrett's esophagus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine