Background: Gastric emptying is impaired in patients with gastroparesis whereas it is either unchanged or accelerated in obese individuals. The goal of the current study was to identify changes in gene expression in the stomach muscularis that may be contributing to altered gastric motility in idiopathic gastroparesis and obesity. Methods: Quantitative real time RT-PCR and whole transcriptome sequencing were used to compare the transcriptomes of lean individuals, obese individuals and either lean or obese individuals with idiopathic gastroparesis. Results: Obesity leads to an increase in mRNAs associated with muscle contractility whereas idiopathic gastroparesis leads to a decrease in mRNAs associated with PDGF BB signaling. Both obesity and idiopathic gastroparesis were also associated with similar alterations in pathways associated with inflammation. Conclusions: Our findings show that obesity and idiopathic gastroparesis result in overlapping but distinct changes in the gastric muscularis transcriptome. Increased expression of mRNAs encoding smooth muscle contractile proteins may be contributing to the increased gastric motility observed in obese subjects, whereas decreased PDGF BB signaling may be contributing to the impaired motility seen in subjects with idiopathic gastroparesis.
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