Evaluating Proliferation and Differentiation Markers in Developing Brunner's Glands
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Brunner’s glands are located in the submucosa of the duodenum and are composed of secretory, glandular epithelium. Secretions from Brunner’s glands contain bicarbonate, growth factors, and mucin glycoproteins. These secretions lubricate the duodenal mucosa and neutralize highly acidic chyme from the stomach as it enters the duodenum. Without this gland, highly acidic chime from the stomach may cause ulceration. Adenomas of Brunner’s glands are known to occur in humans and can result in potentially life threatening complications. Research on the development of Brunner’s glands has largely been overlooked; it is still unclear how pathologies, such as adenomas of the glands, arise In order to understand the etiology of Brunner’s gland pathologies, it is important to first understand the molecular mechanisms behind Brunner’s gland development. We performed a developmental time course on wildtype mice at postnatal day 5 (p5), p7, p9 and p14 in order to examine normal morphology, expression of water channel marker aquaporin-5 (AQP5), and proliferation levels in developing Brunner’s glands. Our results show that Brunner’s gland morphology and cell structure can be appreciated as early as p5, AQP5 is present as early as p5, and cellular proliferation within the gland is higher at an earlier developmental stage. These results provide a basis for later comparison to other mouse models. Understanding how normal patterns are varied in mice that are genetically altered may shed light on the developmental origins of Brunner’s glands and pathological etiologies.