BackgroundGastric gland mucin is important for maintaining the basic function of the gastric mucosa, protecting it from foreign substances and reducing the occurrence of gastric diseases. Exploring the phenotype of gastric gland mucus changes during the progression of gastric disease is of great clinical significance.
MethodsA total of 483 patients with different gastric diseases were collected in this study, including 82 superficial gastritis (SG), 81 atrophic gastritis (AG), 168 dysplasia (GD), and 152 gastric cancer (GC). Mucin staining was performed using HID-ABpH2.5-PAS method and was further grouped according to the mucin coloration.
ResultsThe phenotypic characteristics of mucin during disease progression were divided into neutral, acidic, and mucus-free types. Furthermore, acidic mucus can be divided into type I, type II, and type III. The SG group was dominated by neutral mucus (100%), and the AG was dominated by acid mucus (81.48%), which gradually increased with the severity of atrophy (P < 0.05). The GD and GC groups were dominated by mucus-free (43.45%, 78.29%), and as the degree of GD worsened, neutral and acidic mucus gradually decreased and mucus-free increased (P < 0.001). From the SG, AG, GD, and GC progression, neutral and acidic mucus gradually decreased, and mucus- free gradually increased. Acidic mucin revealed that type III (red-brown black) mucin was predominant in AG, GD, and GC, and increased with the degree of AG, GD, as well as the biological behavior of GC. In the lesion adjacent to high-grade GD or GC, type III acid mucin is predominant.
ConclusionThere were three mucin phenotypes in the process of gastric diseases. With the disease progression, the trend of phenotypic change was that neutral and acidic mucus gradually decreased and mucus-free increased. The appearance of type III mucin suggested a relatively serious phase of gastric diseases and may be a more suitable candidate for follow-up monitoring of patients with GC risk.