Background/Purpose: Intestinal atresia occurs in 1:5000 live births and is a neonatal challenge. Fibroblast growth factor receptor 2b (Fgfr2b) is a critical developmental regulator of proliferation and apoptosis in multiple organ systems including the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Fgfr2b invalidation results in an autosomal recessive intestinal atresia phenotype. This study evaluates the role of Fgfr2b signaling in regulating proliferation and apoptosis in the pathogenesis of intestinal atresia. Methods: Wild-type and Fgfr2b -/- embryos were harvested from timed pregnant mice. The GIT was harvested using standard techniques. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase biotin-dUTP nick end labeling) was used to evaluate apoptosis and bromodeoxyuridine to assess proliferation by standard protocols. Photomicrographs were compared (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee-approved protocol 32-02). Results: Wild-type and mutant GIT demonstrate that deletion of the Fgfr2b gene results in inhibition of epithelial proliferation and increased apoptosis. Inhibited proliferation and increased apoptosis are specific to those tissues of normal Fgfr2b expression, corresponding to the site of intestinal atresia. Conclusions: The absence of embryonic GIT Fgfr2b expression results in decreased proliferation and increased apoptosis resulting in GIT atresia. The regulation of proliferation and apoptosis in intestinal cells as a genetically based cause of intestinal atresia represents a novel consideration in the pathogenesis of intestinal atresia.
- Fibroblast growth factor
- Intestinal atresia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health