Research Papers:

Gastro-duodenal fluid induced nuclear factor-κappaB activation and early pre-malignant alterations in murine hypopharyngeal mucosa

Dimitra P. Vageli _, Manju L. Prasad and Clarence T. Sasaki

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:5892-5908. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6824

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Dimitra P. Vageli1, Manju L. Prasad2 and Clarence T. Sasaki1

1 Department of Surgery,Yale Larynx Laboratory Section of Otolaryngology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

2 Pathology and of Surgery (Otolaryngology), Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

Correspondence to:

Dimitra P. Vageli, email:

Keywords: hypopharyngeal cancer, NF-κB, gastroduodenal reflux, bile acids, in vivo

Received: October 19, 2015 Accepted: December 24, 2015 Published: January 06, 2016


We recently described the role of gastro-duodenal fluids (GDFs) in generating changes consistent with hypopharyngeal neoplasia through activation of NF-κB pathway, using an in vitro model of human hypopharyngeal normal keratinocytes. Here, we further provide evidence that gastro-duodenal reflux is a risk factor for early pre-malignant alterations in hypopharyngeal mucosa (HM) related to an activated NF-κB oncogenic pathway, using both an in vitro and a novel in vivo model of C57Bl/6J mice. Histological, immunohistochemical and automated quantitative analysis documents significant NF-κB activation and early pre-malignant alterations in HM topically exposed to GDFs, compared to acid alone and other controls. Early pre-malignant histologic lesions exhibited increased Ki67, CK14 and ΔNp63, cell proliferation markers, changes of cell adhesion molecules, E-Cadherin and β-catenin, and STAT3 activation. The in vivo effect of NF-κB activation is positively correlated with p-STAT3, Ki67, CK14 or β-catenin expression, while GDFs induce significant transcriptional activation of RELA(p65), bcl-2, TNF-α, STAT3, EGFR and wnt5A, in vivo. Our in vivo model demonstrates selectively activated NF-κB in response to topically administrated GDFs, leading to early pre-malignant events in HM.

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