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This study presents changes that take place in galanin (GAL)-containing components of the enteric nervous system in patients with colorectal carcinoma. The main goal of our study was to investigate the morphological and biochemical characteristics of the GAL-ergic neurons and nerve fibers in the cancer-affected part of the colon and to compare results to the unchanged part of the intestine. The study was performed on tissue samples collected from 15 patients (9 women and 6 men). The material was collected during surgery, i.e., resection of the anterior sigmoid colon and anterior amputation of the rectum, from patients in good general condition, without any other significant disease. Immunohistochemistry and ELISA were used to study, respectively, the distribution of neurons and nerve fibers containing GAL and concentration of this neuropeptide in the human large intestine during the colorectal cancer infiltration. Morphological examinations have revealed that a statistically significantly higher percentage of GAL+ neurons (46%) was observed in the pathologically changed myenteric plexuses as compared to the unchanged part of the intestine (35%). No changes were observed in the density of GAL+ nerve fibers in the submucosal and myenteric plexuses. Biochemical examinations performed with the ELISA revealed that the average GAL content in the cancer tissues was 9.38 ng/g versus 12.27 ng/g in the morphologically unchanged tissues (the difference was statistically significant). The results indicate the continuous presence of GAL-ergic innervation in the immediate vicinity of the cancer invasion, which may be attributed to increased contraction of the affected part of intestine. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Janusz Godlewski, Zenon Pidsudko. Characteristic of galaninergic components of the enteric nervous system in the cancer invasion of human large intestine. Annals of anatomy = Anatomischer Anzeiger : official organ of the Anatomische Gesellschaft. 2012 Jul;194(4):368-72

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PMID: 22226150

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