Exploration of the esophageal mucosal barrier in non-erosive reflux disease

Nicolaas F. Rinsma, Ricard Farré, Fred J. Troost, Montserrat Elizalde, Daniel Keszthelyi, Zsuzsanna Helyes, Ad A. Masclee, José M. Conchillo

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6 Citations (Scopus)


In the absence of visible mucosal damage, it is hypothesized that the esophageal mucosal barrier is functionally impaired in patients with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD). The aim of the present study was to perform an exploratory analysis of the mucosal barrier in NERD compared to erosive esophagitis (EE) and controls. A second aim was to explore TRPV1 gene transcription in relation to the mucosal barrier function and heartburn symptoms. In this prospective study, 10 NERD patients, 11 patients with active erosive esophagitis and 10 healthy volunteers were included. Biopsies from non-eroded mucosa were obtained for (1) ex vivo analyses (Ussing chamber) of transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and permeability (2) gene transcription of tight-junction proteins and transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily member 1 (TRPV1). No differences in TEER or permeability were found between NERD and healthy volunteers, whereas TEER was lower in patients with erosive esophagitis. TRPV1 gene transcription was not significantly different between EE, NERD and controls. Conclusions: esophageal mucosal barrier function and TRPV1 transcription is not significantly altered in NERD patients. Future research is needed to explore other potential mechanisms that may account for the high symptom burden in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1091
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 19 2017


  • Erosive esophagitis
  • Heartburn
  • Mucosal integrity
  • Non-erosive reflux disease
  • TRPV1
  • Transepithelial electrical resistance
  • Ussing chamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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  • Cite this

    Rinsma, N. F., Farré, R., Troost, F. J., Elizalde, M., Keszthelyi, D., Helyes, Z., Masclee, A. A., & Conchillo, J. M. (2017). Exploration of the esophageal mucosal barrier in non-erosive reflux disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 18(5), [1091]. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18051091