It is suggested that different neuropeptides regulate gastric mucosal integrity and participate in the development of chronic gastritis. The aim of this study was to examine the roles and changes of immunoreactive (IR) nerves and immunocompetent cells in human gastritis. Immunohistochemical, immunocytochemical, and confocal laser microscopic methods were used. All investigated nerve fibers were found in different quantities in the mucosa of both control and gastritis samples. The number of SP, NPY, and VIP IR nerve fibers increased significantly (P < 0.05) in gastritis. No IR immunocompetent cells (lymphocytes, plasma cells, mast cells) were found in the control, however, some showed NPY (16.8%) and SP (9.4%) immunoreactivity in chronic gastritis. The distance between nerve fibers and immunocompetent cells was 200 nm to 1 μm. In conclusion, the increased number of SP, NPY, and VIP IR nerves and IR immunocytes suggests that they participate in development of neurogenic inflammation, repairing processes of chronic gastritis.
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