Intestinal metaplasia is often associated with human gastric carcinoma. Intestinalization seems to be a typical example of abnormal differentiation and is possibly a precancerous state. For investigation of intestinal metaplasia, a method for visualizing disaccharidases using Tes-Tape was developed; this method was applied to many specimens of stomach surgically removed for the treatment of gastric carcinoma.

More than 130 specimens of human stomach were investigated. Intestinalization was classified into types I and II intestinal metaplasia. In type I intestinal metaplasia, sucrase, maltase, trehalase, alkaline phosphatase, goblet cells, and Paneth cells were present; while the type II intestinal metaplasia, sucrase and maltase were present but alkaline phosphatase and trehalase were absent. In type II, goblet cells were present but not Paneth cells.

The histochemical technique for sucrase was newly devised. Some of the villi with goblet cells in the area of intestinalization in the stomach were not stained by sucrase activity, although most of the villi were stained. The presence of a third type of metaplasia was suggested.

Purified sucrases obtained from the intestine and one case of type I intestinal metaplasia showed blood group reactivity due to the oligosaccharide side chain. However, purified sucrases obtained from two cases of type II intestinal metaplasia were negative in blood group reactivity.

A close relation between distribution of α-fetoprotein and carcinoembryonic antigen in gastric carcinoma and that in surrounding intestinal metaplasia is discussed.


Presented at the Conference “Early Lesions and the Development of Epithelial Cancer,” October 21 to 23, 1975, Bethesda, Md. This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan; the Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund; the Society for Promotion of Cancer Research; and the Japanese Association for Study of Metabolism and Disease.

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