Changes of protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) immunoreactive nerves in inflamed appendix
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The existence of chronic appendicitis is controversial. In this prospective study, we investigated possible changes in the innervation of the appendix under different pathological conditions and correlated histological findings with clinical observation. Thirty appendectomy specimens and 14 appendices obtained from organ donors or patients who underwent right hemicolectomy were immediately fixed in Bouin's solution and processed for immunocytochemistry using an antiserum directed against the panneuronal marker protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5). The density of PGP 9.5 immunostaining was evaluated by digitized morphometry. Significant differences in the density of the PGP 9.5-immunoreactive area were detected in the mucosal layer. In the nonacute appendicitis group, PGP 9.5 was increased (10.99±3.15%) as compared to acute appendicitis (3.89±1.77%) and controls (4.98±1.25%). The significant increase of PGP 9.5 in nonacute appendicitis may suggest axonal sprouting leading to hyperinnervation of the mucosa. This may be a neuronal factor in the pathophysiology of the disease and pain symptoms.
Key wordsappendix innervation chronic and acute inflammation pain
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