Altered mucin core peptide expression in acute and chronic cholecystitis

Samuel B. Ho, Laurie L. Shekels, Neil W. Toribara, Ilene K. Gipson, Young S. Kim, Preston P. Purdum, David L. Cherwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Human mucin genes include membrane-bound mucins (MUC1, MUC3, MUC4) and secretory mucins (MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC5B, MUC6). Our aim was to determine mucin gene expression in human gallbladder cell lines, normal gallbladder from liver donors (N = 7) and surgical specimens with mild chronic cholecystitis (N = 29), chronic cholecystitis (N = 48), and acute and chronic cholecystitis (N = 27). MUC1 mRNA was ubiquitous; however, only rare MUC1 immunoreactivity was detected. MUC3, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6 mRNA were present in all gallbladder specimens and cell lines examined. Prominent MUC3, MUC5AC, MUC5B, and MUC6 immunoreactivity was present in 86-100% of normal gallbladders. The frequency of MUC5AC reactivity was decreased in specimens with acute cholecystitis (P < 0.05). in contrast, MUC2-reactivity was absent in normal gallbladder and present in 53.8% of acute cholecystitis specimens (P < 0.05). Surface epithelium is characterized by MUC3, MUC5AC, and MUC5B, whereas deeper mucosal folds display MUC5B and MUC6 immunoreactivity. Gallbladder epithelium demonstrates a unique and diverse pattern of mucin core proteins that becomes altered with increasing degrees of inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1071
Number of pages11
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Veterans Affairs Merit Review Award (to S.B.H. and N.W.T.), a National Research Service Award (to L.L.S.), a Veterans Administration Medical Investigator Award (to Y.S.K.), a National Institutes of Health grant R01-HD33171 (to I.K.G.), and the Research Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • Cholecystitis
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Gallbladder
  • Glycoproteins
  • Mucins
  • Peptide antibodies


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