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Light and scanning electron microscopic study of 5-fluorouracil-induced mucosal injury in the gastric fundus and the possible protective role of omeprazole in adult male albino rats

El-Bermawy, Manal I.

The Egyptian Journal of Histology: September 2015 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 415–426
doi: 10.1097/01.EHX.0000470839.22997.48
Original articles

Introduction Administration of chemotherapy in a wide variety of cancers is associated with various side effects, with structural affection of the gastrointestinal tract being a major clinical concern and a major cause of cancer treatment-related morbidity.

Aim This study was performed to assess the light and scanning electron microscopic changes due to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)-induced cytotoxicity on the mucosa of the gastric fundus in male albino rats and to assess the possible protective role of omeprazole.

Materials and methods Forty adult male albino rats were divided into four groups: group I comprised control rats; group II was administrated 10 mg/kg omeprazole orally through a gastric tube once daily for 5 consecutive days; group III was injected intravenously with 50 mg/kg 5-FU once daily for 5 consecutive days; and group IV received 5-FU similarly to group III along with omeprazole similarly to group II. At the end of the experiment, specimens from the gastric fundus mucosa were processed for light and scanning electron microscopic study.

Results Light microscopic examination of the 5-FU group revealed many changes such as erosion at the pits of the mucosa with destructed surface mucous cells with distorted nuclei and intraluminal exfoliated cells, vacuolated parietal cells with pyknotic and karyolitic nuclei, and distorted chief cells with apical migration of their nuclei. Further, the lamina propria showed inflammatory cell infiltration and extravasated red blood cells. Specimens from group IV revealed mild gastric fundus mucosal injury compared with 5-FU-treated rats.

Scanning electron microscopic examination of 5-FU-treated rats revealed loss of demarcation between mucous cells, and many necrotic areas in the mucosa with umbilicated apices. Other specimens showed complete shedding of the mucosal surface leaving irregular wide openings of the gastric pits with a honeycomb shape. Scanning electron specimens in group IV revealed an apparently normal fundus mucosal surface. However, mild changes on the mucosal surface were observed in some specimens.

Conclusion It is concluded that concomitant administration of omeprazole with 5-FU has a protective effect against 5-FU-induced structural changes in the mucosa of the stomach fundus.

Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence to Manal I. El-Bermawy MD, Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt Tel: +20 100 124 8580; fax: +0020403332033; e-mail:

Received January 16, 2015

Accepted July 22, 2015

© 2015 The Egyptian Journal of Histology
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