Characterization of Gastric Mucosa Biopsies Reveals Alterations in Huntington's Disease.

Andrew C McCourt, Kirsty L O'Donovan, Eva Ekblad, Elin Sand, David Craufurd, Anne Rosser, David Sanders, Nicholas Stoy, Hugh Rickards, Nils Wierup, Gillian P Bates, Maria Björkqvist, Oliver Quarrell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Weight loss is an important complication of Huntington's disease (HD), however the mechanism for weight loss in HD is not entirely understood. Mutant huntingtin is expressed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and, in HD mice, mutant huntingtin inclusions are found within the enteric nervous system along the GI tract. A reduction of neuropeptides, decreased mucosal thickness and villus length, as well as gut motility impairment, have also been shown in HD mice. We therefore set out to study gastric mucosa of patients with HD, looking for abnormalities of mucosal cells using immunohistochemistry. In order to investigate possible histological differences related to gastric acid production, we evaluated the cell density of acid producing parietal cells, as well as gastrin producing cells (the endocrine cell controlling parietal cell function). In addition, we looked at chief cells and somatostatin-containing cells. In gastric mucosa from HD subjects, compared to control subject biopsies, a reduced expression of gastrin (a marker of G cells) was found. This is in line with previous HD mouse studies showing reduction of GI tract neuropeptides.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPL o S currents
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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