Digestive diseases and sciences

Concentration of Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Positively Correlates with Symptoms in Functional Dyspepsia.

PMID 27718082


In patients with functional dyspepsia (FD), mild duodenal inflammation correlates with increased mucosal permeability. Enteric glial cells can produce glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) to repair disrupted epithelial barrier function. We examined the role of duodenal GDNF in FD pathophysiology and its association with dyspeptic symptoms. Duodenal biopsies taken from FD patients and control subjects were used for analysis. GDNF protein expression and localization were examined. Cellular infiltration of eosinophils and mast cells was measured. We also examined the intercellular space between the adjacent epithelial cells at the apical junction complex using transmission electron microscopy. In FD patients, expression of GDNF protein was significantly increased compared with controls, 107.3 (95.3-136.7) versus 49.3 (38.0-72.6) pg/mg protein (median (interquartile range), pxa0=xa00.006), respectively. GDNF was localized in enteric glial cells, eosinophils, and epithelial cells. The number of eosinophils was significantly greater in FD patients than in controls, 1039 (923-1181) versus 553 (479-598) cells/mm(2) (pxa0=xa00.021), respectively. The intercellular space was dilated at the adherent junction in FD patients compared to control patients, 32.4 (29.8-34.8) versus 22.0 (19.9-26.1) nm (pxa0=xa00.002), respectively. Intercellular distance positively correlated with the frequency of postprandial fullness and early satiation (pxa0=xa00.001, rxa0=xa00.837 and pxa0=xa00.009, rxa0=xa00.693, respectively). Expression of GDNF correlated with epigastric burning (pxa0=xa00.041, rxa0=xa00.552). Increased expression of duodenal GDNF might be involved in FD pathophysiology and symptom perception.