Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal disorders and bile acids are thought to be associated with the pathogenesis of IBS. Bile acid receptors are expressed on intestinal epithelial cells. However, no study has assessed bile acid receptor proteins in IBS. Therefore, we examined the intestinal mucosal expression of bile acid receptors in patients with IBS..
Intestinal biopsies were performed in patients with IBS and controls. Mast cells, vitamin D receptor (VDR), and somatostatin were stained with specific antibodies. Levels of VDR, farnesoid X receptor (FXR), takeda‐G‐protein‐receptor‐5 (TGR5), claudins, and transient‐receptor‐potential‐cation‐channel‐subfamily‐V‐member 6 (TRPV6) were assessed by western blotting.
Mast cell counts in the second part of the duodenum were significantly higher in patients with IBS than in controls. VDR protein levels were significantly elevated in the duodenum and terminal ileum of patients with IBS compared to controls, although this difference was not seen in the cecum or rectum. FXR and TGR5 protein levels did not differ in any part of the intestine. VDR‐positive cryptal epithelia in IBS were distributed not only at basal crypt but also along the upper part of the basal crypt epithelial cells. In contrast, the pattern of gut somatostatin‐positive cells, claudins and TRPV6 levels did not differ.
The number of mast cells in the duodenum was significantly increased, and the protein expression levels of VDR, but not those of FXR or TGR5, were elevated in the duodenal epithelial crypt in patients with IBS.