The Role of Metaplasia During Gastric Regeneration

Emma Teal, Martha Dua-Awereh, Sabrina T Hirshorn, Yana Zavros
American Journal of Physiology. Cell Physiology 2020 August 5
Spasmolytic polypeptide/TFF2-expressing metaplasia is a mucous-secreting reparative lineage that emerges at the ulcer margin after in response to gastric injury. Under conditions of chronic inflammation with parietal cell loss, SPEM has been found to emerge and evolve into neoplasia. Cluster-of-differentiation gene 44 (CD44) is known to coordinate normal and metaplastic epithelial cell proliferation. In particular, CD44 variant isoform 9 (CD44v9) associates with the cysteine-glutamate transporter xCT, stabilizes the protein and provides defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS). xCT stabilization by CD44v9 leads to defense against ROS by cysteine uptake, glutathione (GSH) synthesis, and maintenance of the redox balance within the intracellular environment. Furthermore, p38 signaling is a known downstream ROS target leading to diminished cell proliferation and migration - two vital processes of gastric epithelial repair. CD44v9 emerges during repair of the gastric epithelium after injury where it is co-expressed with other markers of SPEM. The regulatory mechanisms for the emergence of CD44v9 and the role of CD44v9 during the process of gastric epithelial regeneration are largely unknown. Inflammation and M2 macrophage infiltration have recently been demonstrated to play key role in the induction of SPEM after injury. The following review proposes new insights into the functional role of metaplasia in the process of gastric regeneration in response to ulceration. Our insights are extrapolated from documented studies reporting oxyntic atrophy and SPEM development, and our current unpublished findings using the acetic acid-induced gastric injury model.

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