Production of ectopic gastric intrinsic factor in gastric mucosa of humans with chronic gastritis

J. S. Shao, R. Carmel, D. H. Alpers

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4 Scopus citations


Background: Ectopic expression of gastric intrinsic factor (IF) has been described in rodent models of chronic gastritis. Aims: The current study undertook to determine if ectopic IF was also present in chronic gastritis in humans and might identify the process of ectopic protein expression as part of the response to chronic injury. Methods: Archived biopsies from mid-body, angularis and prepylorus of 9 patients with and without chronic gastritis and food-cobalamin malabsorption were examined in a blinded fashion by immunocytochemistry as were biopsies from 5 normal subjects. Cells with ectopic IF were further examined with antibodies against pepsin or with Griffonia simplicifolia II (GSII) to identity cells in the mucous neck cell compartment. Results: Ectopic IF production in non-parietal cells was identified in cells that were H +,K +-ATPase-negative but IF-positive in 7 of the 9 patients (6/9 in the angularis and/or prepylorus biopsies and 1/9 only in the mid-body). These included 5 of the 6 H. pylori-infected patients and all 5 patients with severe food-cobalamin malabsorption. No normal control subjects demonstrated ectopic IF. The cells with ectopic IF were pepsinogen-positive peptic cells and were not GSII-positive. Expression was most extensive in patients and gastric regions with inflammation. In all but one sample, ectopic IF was observed near anatomical mucosal junctions, such as antral/body and prepylorus/duodenum junctions. Conclusions: These data in humans with and without gastritis are consistent with the hypothesis that local factors influence ectopic gastric IF expression, arising from either the anatomical location, the focal inflammation, or both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3209-3219
Number of pages11
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Chief cells
  • Gastritis
  • Intrinsic factor
  • Parietal cells


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