Stem Cells, Self-Renewal and Cancer of the Gastric Epithelium

Author(s): Werner Hoffmann

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 19 , Issue 35 , 2012

Become EABM
Become Reviewer


The gastric mucosa and its glands show continuous bidirectional self-renewal via differentiation from stem and progenitor cells. Here, two types of gastric units, i.e., fundic and antral units, form delicate homeostatic systems. This review focuses on recent developments concerning the different types of gastric stem cells, the central function of parietal cells as organizing centres of fundic units, the stepwise differentiation of zymogenic cells via trans-differentiation of mucous neck cells, and unexpected differences between fundic and antral surface mucous cells. Within the last years, the central role of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) for correct self-renewal of fundic units has become much clearer. Furthermore, also the knowledge concerning the genesis of gastric cancer increased substantially. Here, chronic inflammation leads to dysregulated differentiation processes and finally to cancer. Remarkable progress has been made particularly concerning the genesis of two metaplastic cell lineages, i.e., the TFF2/spasmolytic polypeptide expressing metaplasia (SPEM) and intestinal metaplasia, which both arise in intestinal-type cancers in fundic units by dysregulated trans-differentiation of the zymogenic cell lineage. Additionally, Shh has been recognized as a target for inflammatory processes and an important player for innate immunity processes. Thus, stem cells, self-renewal, and gastric cancer are intimately linked.

Keywords: cell differentiation, gastric cancer, gastric mucosa, gastric self-renewal, hedgehog, metaplasia, regeneration, stem cell

open access plus

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2012
Published on: 29 November, 2012
Page: [5975 - 5983]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/0929867311209065975

Article Metrics

PDF: 103