Barrett's esophagus is a premalignant condition of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) is induced by cytokines and can generate locally high concentrations of nitric oxide (NO), whose metabolites can mediate genotoxicity and influence multistage carcinogenesis by causing DNA damage. Therefore, we evaluated the immunolocalization and expression of iNOS in surgically induced rat Barrett's esophagus. Esophagoduodenal anastomosis was performed in rats for inducing reflux of duodenal contents. Rats were killed at postoperative 10, 20, 30 and 40 weeks. We examined histologic changes and iNOS expression in esophagus by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Eighty six percent of experimental rats showed Barrett's esophagus above esophagoduodenal junction. iNOS immunoreactivity was clearly observed in the epithelial cells of Barrett's esophagus, predominantly at the apical surface of epithelial cells. Cytoplasmic staining was also seen only in atypical Barrett's esophagus. iNOS mRNA was detected only in the lower esophagus of experimental group. In conclusion, this study suggests that iNOS has some roles on Barrett's esophagus formation.
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