Expression of basic fibroblast growth factor in intact and ulcerated human gastric mucosa

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Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) promotes angiogenesis and healing of gastric ulcers in rats, and bFGF expression is up regulated in such ulcers. However, little is known about expression of bFGF in human gastric mucosa.


To investigate bFGF expression in intact human gastric mucosa and gastric ulcers and to determine whether low bFGF content or altered binding by mucosa is associated with ulceration.


Endoscopy outpatients, gastrectomy patients, and organ donors.


bFGF was isolated by heparin affinity chromatography and characterised by western blotting and endothelial cell bioassay. bFGF was measured by immunoassay and its distribution defined by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation. Binding of bFGF by heparan sulphate proteoglycans was investigated by sodium chloride and heparin extraction.


Bioactive bFGF (19 kDa) was detected in normal mucosa but bFGF mRNA was not found. bFGF expression was up regulated in granulation tissue endothelial cells, mononuclear cells, and epithelial cells at the ulcer rim. Gastric ulcer patients had constitutively low bFGF concentrations in intact antral mucosa which were not explained by changes in binding to heparan sulphate proteoglycans.


bFGF expression is up regulated in human gastric ulcers. Low intact mucosal bFGF content is associated with gastric ulceration.

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