Background and Aims: Reg gene has been isolated from regenerating rat pancreatic islets, and subsequent studies have shown a trophic effect of Reg protein on islet cells. However, little is known about the role of Reg protein in the stomach. The aim of this study was to clarify the localization of Reg messenger RNA (mRNA) and its product in the stomach and to examine changes in the level of their expression during regeneration of gastric mucosal cells. Methods: Gastric lesions were experimentally induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by water immersion stress. Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization studies were performed to examine changes in mRNA levels. Immunohistochemical studies were performed to identify the cellular localization and to investigate the change in Reg protein level. Results: Reg mRNA and its product were distributed in the basal part of the oxyntic mucosa and were expressed mainly in enterochromaffin-like cells. Levels of both Reg mRNA and its product were markedly increased in the water immersion-induced gastric lesions. Conclusions: Reg mRNA and its product are expressed in gastric enterochromaffin-like cells, and their levels are increased during the healing process of water immersion-induced gastric lesions.
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