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1.  Use of PCR and culture to detect Helicobacter pylori in naturally infected cats following triple antimicrobial therapy. 
Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and peptic ulcers and is linked to gastric cancer. Domestic cats from a commercial source were found to be naturally infected with H. pylori, and studies were undertaken to eradicate H. pylori from infected cats by using triple antimicrobial therapy. Eight cats infected with H. pylori were used in the study. Six cats received a 21-day course of oral amoxicillin, metronidazole, and omeprazole, and two cats served as controls. Two weeks and 4 weeks posttreatment (p.t.), all six treated cats were negative at several sites (saliva, gastric juice, and gastric mucosa) for H. pylori by culture. However, as determined by PCR with primers specific for the 26-kDa product, the majority of cats at 2 and 4 weeks p.t. had gastric fluid samples which were positive for H. pylori and three of three cats at 2 weeks p.t. had dental plaque which was positive for H. pylori. At 6 weeks p.t., all six cats had H. pylori-negative cultures for samples from several gastric sites taken at necropsy, and only one cat had H. pylori cultured from gastric juice. PCR analysis revealed that five of six cats had H. pylori DNA amplification products from plaque, saliva, and/or gastric fluid samples. Negative bacterial cultures for cats for which there was demonstrable PCR amplification of H. pylori DNA may reflect the inability of in vitro culture techniques to isolate small numbers of H. pylori organisms, focal colonization at sites not cultured, or a failure of the antibiotics to successfully eradicate H. pylori from extragastric sites which allowed subsequent recolonization of the stomach after cessation of therapy. Alternatively, the treatment strategy may have induced in vivo viable but nonculturable coccoid forms of H. pylori. The H. pylori cat model should allow further studies to test these hypotheses as well as the efficacies of other combined therapeutic regimens. Also, because 100% of these cats were naturally infected with H.pylori, this model should prove useful in exploring mechanisms whereby human populations in underdeveloped countries, which have H. pylori infection rates approaching 100%, have a high rate of recurrence of H. pylori infection after use of prescribed antibiotic therapies that successfully eradicate H. pylori in individuals in developed countries.
PMCID: PMC163354  PMID: 8726024
2.  Anti-Helicobacter pylori Properties of GutGard™ 
Presence of Helicobacter pylori is associated with an increased risk of developing upper gastrointestinal tract diseases. Antibiotic therapy and a combination of two or three drugs have been widely used to eradicate H. pylori infections. Due to antibiotic resistant drugs, new drug resources are needed such as plants which contain antibacterial compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of GutGard™ to inhibit H. pylori growth both in Mongolian gerbils and C57BL/6 mouse models. Male Mongolian gerbils were infected with the bacteria by intragastric inoculation (2×109 CFU/gerbil) 3 times over 5 days and then orally treated once daily 6 times/week for 8 weeks with 15, 30 and 60 mg/kg GutGard™. After the final administration, biopsy samples of the gastric mucosa were assayed for bacterial identification via urease, catalase and ELISA assays as well as immunohistochemistry (IHC). In the Mongolian gerbil model, IHC and ELISA assays revealed that GutGard™ inhibited H. pylori colonization in gastric mucosa in a dose dependent manner. The anti-H. pylori effects of GutGard™ in H. pylori-infected C57BL/6 mice were also examined. We found that treatment with 25 mg/kg GutGard™ significantly reduced H. pylori colonization in mice gastric mucosa. Our results suggest that GutGard™ may be useful as an agent to prevent H. pylori infection.
PMCID: PMC3892500  PMID: 24471118
H. pylori; G. glabra; gastric mucosa; colonization
3.  Crosstalk between Helicobacter pylori and Gastric Epithelial Cells Is Impaired by Docosahexaenoic Acid 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60657.
H. pylori colonizes half of the world's population leading to gastritis, ulcers and gastric cancer. H. pylori strains resistant to antibiotics are increasing which raises the need for alternative therapeutic approaches. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has been shown to decrease H. pylori growth and its associated-inflammation through mechanisms poorly characterized. We aimed to explore DHA action on H. pylori-mediated inflammation and adhesion to gastric epithelial cells (AGS) and also to identify bacterial structures affected by DHA. H. pylori growth and metabolism was assessed in liquid cultures. Bacterial adhesion to AGS cells was visualized by transmission electron microscopy and quantified by an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay. Inflammatory proteins were assessed by immunoblotting in infected AGS cells, previously treated with DHA. Bacterial total and outer membrane protein composition was analyzed by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Concentrations of 100 µM of DHA decreased H. pylori growth, whereas concentrations higher than 250 µM irreversibly inhibited bacteria survival. DHA reduced ATP production and adhesion to AGS cells. AGS cells infected with DHA pre-treated H. pylori showed a 3-fold reduction in Interleukin-8 (IL-8) production and a decrease of COX2 and iNOS. 2D electrophoresis analysis revealed that DHA changed the expression of H. pylori outer membrane proteins associated with stress response and metabolism and modified bacterial lipopolysaccharide phenotype. As conclusions our results show that DHA anti-H. pylori effects are associated with changes of bacteria morphology and metabolism, and with alteration of outer membrane proteins composition, that ultimately reduce the adhesion of bacteria and the burden of H. pylori-related inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3618039  PMID: 23577140
4.  Helicobacter pylori infection 
BMJ Clinical Evidence  2009;2009:0406.
The principal effect of Helicobacter pylori infection is lifelong chronic gastritis, affecting up to 20% of younger adults but 50% to 80% of adults born in resource-rich countries before 1950.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of H pylori eradication treatment in people with a confirmed duodenal ulcer, a confirmed gastric ulcer, confirmed gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), confirmed non-ulcer dyspepsia, uninvestigated dyspepsia, localised B cell lymphoma of the stomach, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related peptic ulcers? What are the effects of H pylori eradication treatment for preventing NSAID-related peptic ulcers in people with or without previous ulcers or dyspepsia? What are the effects of H pylori eradication treatment on the risk of developing gastric cancer? Do H pylori eradication treatments differ in their effects? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2007 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 58 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: effects of H pylori eradication in different populations; relative effects of triple regimens, quadruple regimens, and sequential regimens.
Key Points
The principal effect of Helicobacter pylori infection is lifelong chronic gastritis, affecting up to 20% of younger adults but 50% to 80% of adults born before 1950 in resource-rich countries. H pylori infection can be identified indirectly by the C13 urea breath test and stool antigen tests, which are more accurate than serology.Transmission and prevalence rates are higher in areas of childhood poverty. Adult reinfection rates are less than 1% a year.In people with H pylori infection, about 15% will develop a peptic ulcer and 1% will develop gastric cancer during their lifetime.
Eradication of H pylori makes healing of duodenal ulcers more likely and reduces the risk of bleeding with gastric and duodenal ulcers, either alone or when added to antisecretory drug treatment. Eradication also greatly reduces the risk of recurrence of a duodenal ulcer. Eradication reduces recurrence after healing of a gastric ulcer; however, we don't know whether it increases healing of gastric ulcers.Eradication of H pylori may reduce the risk of NSAID-related ulcers in people without previous ulcers; however, we don't know whether it reduces NSAID-related ulcers or bleeding in people with previous ulcers.
In areas of low prevalence of H pylori, few ulcers are caused by H pylori infection. Eradication may be less effective in preventing ulcers in these areas compared with higher-prevalence areas.
Eradication of H pylori reduces symptoms of dyspepsia, but not of GORD. Eradicating H pylori has been shown to reduce dyspeptic symptoms in people with non-ulcer dyspepsia or uninvestigated dyspepsia compared with placebo.
Despite the association between H pylori infection and gastric cancer, no studies have shown a reduced risk after eradication treatment. Gastric B cell lymphoma lesions may regress after H pylori eradication, but we don't know this for sure.
Quadruple and triple regimens seem equally effective at eradicating H pylori as first-line treatments. Quadruple regimens may be more effective as second-line treatment than triple regimens when a first-line triple regimen has failed to eradicate the infection. However, the evidence is limited in that, in comparisons of second-line quadruple versus triple regimens, most triple regimens did not contain a nitroimidazole.
Ten-day sequential therapy may be more effective at eradicating H pylori than a 7-day triple regimen.
Nitroimidazole-based triple regimens and amoxicillin-based triple regimens seem equally effective at eradicating H pylori. High-dose clarithromycin within an amoxicillin-based triple regimen seems more effective at eradicating H pylori than low-dose clarithromycin. However, the dose of clarithromycin within a nitroimidazole-based triple regimen does not seem to have an effect on eradication rates.
Triple regimens using different proton pump inhibitors seem equally effective at eradicating H pylori. Pre-treatment with a proton pump inhibitor before triple regimen does not seem to increase H pylori eradication rates compared with no pre-treatment. Two-week triple proton pump inhibitor regimens may be more effective than 1-week regimens for eradicating H pylori.
Lower eradication rates are achieved in people infected with strains of H pylori that are resistant to antibiotics included in the eradication regimen than are achieved in people infected with sensitive strains of H pylori.
Antibiotics can cause adverse effects such as nausea and diarrhoea. Bismuth may turn the stools black.
PMCID: PMC2907775  PMID: 21718575
5.  Systems Modeling of the Role of Interleukin-21 in the Maintenance of Effector CD4+ T Cell Responses during Chronic Helicobacter pylori Infection 
mBio  2014;5(4):e01243-14.
The development of gastritis during Helicobacter pylori infection is dependent on an activated adaptive immune response orchestrated by T helper (Th) cells. However, the relative contributions of the Th1 and Th17 subsets to gastritis and control of infection are still under investigation. To investigate the role of interleukin-21 (IL-21) in the gastric mucosa during H. pylori infection, we combined mathematical modeling of CD4+ T cell differentiation with in vivo mechanistic studies. We infected IL-21-deficient and wild-type mice with H. pylori strain SS1 and assessed colonization, gastric inflammation, cellular infiltration, and cytokine profiles. Chronically H. pylori-infected IL-21-deficient mice had higher H. pylori colonization, significantly less gastritis, and reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines compared to these parameters in infected wild-type littermates. These in vivo data were used to calibrate an H. pylori infection-dependent, CD4+ T cell-specific computational model, which then described the mechanism by which IL-21 activates the production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and IL-17 during chronic H. pylori infection. The model predicted activated expression of T-bet and RORγt and the phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT1 and suggested a potential role of IL-21 in the modulation of IL-10. Driven by our modeling-derived predictions, we found reduced levels of CD4+ splenocyte-specific tbx21 and rorc expression, reduced phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3, and an increase in CD4+ T cell-specific IL-10 expression in H. pylori-infected IL-21-deficient mice. Our results indicate that IL-21 regulates Th1 and Th17 effector responses during chronic H. pylori infection in a STAT1- and STAT3-dependent manner, therefore playing a major role controlling H. pylori infection and gastritis.
Helicobacter pylori is the dominant member of the gastric microbiota in more than 50% of the world’s population. H. pylori colonization has been implicated in gastritis and gastric cancer, as infection with H. pylori is the single most common risk factor for gastric cancer. Current data suggest that, in addition to bacterial virulence factors, the magnitude and types of immune responses influence the outcome of colonization and chronic infection. This study uses a combined computational and experimental approach to investigate how IL-21, a proinflammatory T cell-derived cytokine, maintains the chronic proinflammatory T cell immune response driving chronic gastritis during H. pylori infection. This research will also provide insight into a myriad of other infectious and immune disorders in which IL-21 is increasingly recognized to play a central role. The use of IL-21-related therapies may provide treatment options for individuals chronically colonized with H. pylori as an alternative to aggressive antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC4120195  PMID: 25053783
6.  Anti-Helicobacter pylori activities of Chenopodium ambrosioides L. in vitro and in vivo 
AIM: To investigate the bactericidal effects of Chenopodium ambrosioides L. (CAL) against Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) both in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: For in vitro experiments, the inhibitory activity of CAL was tested using an agar dilution method; H. pylori strain NCTC11637 was incubated on Columbia blood agar plates containing serial concentrations of CAL. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined by the absence of H. pylori colonies on the agar plate. Time-kill curves were used to evaluate bactericidal activity; the average number of colonies was calculated at 0, 2, 8 and 24 h after liquid incubation with concentrations of CAL at 0.5, 1, and 2 × MIC. For in vivo experiments, H. pylori-infected mice were randomly divided into CAL, triple therapy (lansoprazole, metronidazole, and clarithromycin), blank control, or H. pylori control groups. The eradication ratios were determined by positive findings from rapid urease tests (RUTs) and by histopathology.
RESULTS: In vitro, the MIC of CAL against H. pylori was 16 mg/L. The time-kill curves showed a stable and persistent decreasing tendency with increasing CAL concentration, and the intensity of the bactericidal effect was proportional to dose; the 1 and 2 × MIC completely inhibited the growth of H. pylori at 24 h. In vivo, the eradication ratios in the CAL group were 60% (6/10) by RUT and 50% (5/10) by histopathology. Ratios in the triple therapy group were both 70% (7/10), and there was no difference between the CAL and triple therapy groups. Histopathologic evaluation revealed massive bacterial colonization on the surface of gastric mucosa and slight infiltration of mononuclear cells after inoculation with H. pylori, but no obvious inflammation or other pathologic changes in gastric mucosa of mice from CAL and triple therapy groups.
CONCLUSION: CAL demonstrates effective bactericidal activity against H. pylori both in vitro and in vivo.
PMCID: PMC4394078  PMID: 25892867
Helicobacter pylori; Bactericidal activity; Chenopodium ambrosioides L.; Phytotherapy
7.  Motility and Chemotaxis Mediate the Preferential Colonization of Gastric Injury Sites by Helicobacter pylori 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(7):e1004275.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a pathogen contributing to peptic inflammation, ulceration, and cancer. A crucial step in the pathogenic sequence is when the bacterium first interacts with gastric tissue, an event that is poorly understood in vivo. We have shown that the luminal space adjacent to gastric epithelial damage is a microenvironment, and we hypothesized that this microenvironment might enhance H. pylori colonization. Inoculation with 106 H. pylori (wild-type Sydney Strain 1, SS1) significantly delayed healing of acetic-acid induced ulcers at Day 1, 7 and 30 post-inoculation, and wild-type SS1 preferentially colonized the ulcerated area compared to uninjured gastric tissue in the same animal at all time points. Gastric resident Lactobacillus spp. did not preferentially colonize ulcerated tissue. To determine whether bacterial motility and chemotaxis are important to ulcer healing and colonization, we analyzed isogenic H. pylori mutants defective in motility (ΔmotB) or chemotaxis (ΔcheY). ΔmotB (106) failed to colonize ulcerated or healthy stomach tissue. ΔcheY (106) colonized both tissues, but without preferential colonization of ulcerated tissue. However, ΔcheY did modestly delay ulcer healing, suggesting that chemotaxis is not required for this process. We used two-photon microscopy to induce microscopic epithelial lesions in vivo, and evaluated accumulation of fluorescently labeled H. pylori at gastric damage sites in the time frame of minutes instead of days. By 5 min after inducing damage, H. pylori SS1 preferentially accumulated at the site of damage and inhibited gastric epithelial restitution. H. pylori ΔcheY modestly accumulated at the gastric surface and inhibited restitution, but did not preferentially accumulate at the injury site. H. pylori ΔmotB neither accumulated at the surface nor inhibited restitution. We conclude that bacterial chemosensing and motility rapidly promote H. pylori colonization of injury sites, and thereby biases the injured tissue towards sustained gastric damage.
Author Summary
H. pylori is a disease-causing bacterium that commonly infects the human stomach in both developed and underdeveloped countries. Infected individuals can develop digestive diseases, including stomach inflammation, peptic ulcer, and cancer. There has been only limited investigation into the events when H. pylori first interacts with stomach tissue. Using anesthetized mice in which we have induced microscopic damage to the stomach surface, we find that H. pylori is able to rapidly detect and navigate towards this damage site. Within minutes, bacterial accumulation slows repair of the damage. This is the earliest event of H. pylori pathogenesis that has been reported in vivo. We further define that this pathology is due to the bacterial accumulation at damage sites and that this also occurs in a model of larger stomach damage (ulceration). The broader implications of our work are that even sub-clinical insults to the stomach that occur in daily life (damage from grinding of food, ingestion of alcohol, taking an aspirin) can potentially attract H. pylori and not only slow repair of any existing damage, but maybe also provide an initiation site that can start the pathogenic sequence of stomach disease caused by H. pylori.
PMCID: PMC4102597  PMID: 25033386
8.  Low dose docosahexaenoic acid protects normal colonic epithelial cells from araC toxicity 
BMC Pharmacology  2005;5:7.
The nucleoside analogue arabinosylcytosine (araC) has been used for many years in the treatment of acute leukemia. Evidence in the literature suggests that araC may inhibit the growth of human colon carcinoma cell lines as well. Because araC action interferes with normal nucleoside metabolism, it is highly toxic to a number of normal cell types including bone marrow and intestinal mucosa cells. Here we investigate whether the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) could selectively target araC toxicity toward colonic tumor cells while protecting the normal cells in vitro.
Cultures of normal rat colonic epithelial cells (4D/WT) and those transformed by v-src (D/v-src) were supplemented with graded concentrations of DHA or arachidonic acid (AA) alone or in combination with araC. AraC was only 1.6 fold more toxic to D/v-src than 4D/WT in cultures without added fatty acids. Supplementing with as little as 3 μM of either AA or DHA increased araC toxicity by more than 30-fold in the tumorigenic cells. The toxic effect of araC on the normal cells was also increased by the fatty acid supplementation. IC50 values were decreased 1.7 fold by DHA in the 4D/WT cells but a more than 7-fold decrease was observed during AA supplementation. As a result, the therapeutic index of araC (IC50 normal/IC50 tumor) was more than 3-fold higher in the DHA than the AA supplemented cells. The expression of protein kinase C isoform epsilon was decreased in AA alone supplemented D/v-src cultures but in combination with araC decreased only in DHA supplemented 4D/WT cells.
Low dose DHA supplementation may enhance araC chemotherapy in colon cancer while protecting normal tissues, possibly through control of PKC signalling pathways.
PMCID: PMC1079882  PMID: 15788091
9.  In Vitro and In Vivo Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori by Lactobacillus casei Strain Shirota 
We studied the potential inhibitory effect of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (from the fermented milk product Yakult [Yakult Ltd., Tokyo, Japan]) on Helicobacter pylori by using (i) in vitro inhibition assays with H. pylori SS1 (Sydney strain 1) and nine H. pylori clinical isolates and (ii) the in vivo H. pylori SS1 mouse model of infection over a period of 9 months. In vitro activity against H. pylori SS1 and all of the clinical isolates was observed in the presence of viable L. casei strain Shirota cells but not in the cell-free culture supernatant, although there was profound inhibition of urease activity. In vivo experiments were performed by oral administration of L. casei strain Shirota in the water supply over a period of 9 months to 6-week-old C57BL/6 mice previously infected with H. pylori SS1 (study group; n = 25). Appropriate control groups of H. pylori-infected but untreated animals (n = 25) and uninfected animals given L. casei strain Shirota (n = 25) also were included in the study. H. pylori colonization and development of gastritis were assessed at 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 months postinfection. A significant reduction in the levels of H. pylori colonization was observed in the antrum and body mucosa in vivo in the lactobacillus-treated study group, as assessed by viable cultures, compared to the levels in the H. pylori-infected control group. This reduction was accompanied by a significant decline in the associated chronic and active gastric mucosal inflammation observed at each time point throughout the observation period. A trend toward a decrease in the anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G response was measured in the serum of the animals treated with lactobacillus, although this decrease was not significant.
PMCID: PMC321236  PMID: 14711683
10.  Docosahexaenoic acid attenuates the early inflammatory response following spinal cord injury in mice: in-vivo and in-vitro studies 
Two families of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), omega-3 (ω-3) and omega-6 (ω-6), are required for physiological functions. The long chain ω-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have significant biological effects. In particular, DHA is a major component of cell membranes in the brain. It is also involved in neurotransmission. Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a highly devastating pathology that can lead to catastrophic dysfunction, with a significant reduction in the quality of life. Previous studies have shown that EPA and DHA can exert neuroprotective effects in SCI in mice and rats. The aim of this study was to analyze the mechanism of action of ω-3 PUFAs, such as DHA, in a mouse model of SCI, with a focus on the early pathophysiological processes.
In this study, SCI was induced in mice by the application of an aneurysm clip onto the dura mater via a four-level T5 to T8 laminectomy. Thirty minutes after compression, animals received a tail vein injection of DHA at a dose of 250 nmol/kg. All animals were killed at 24 h after SCI, to evaluate various parameters implicated in the spread of the injury.
Our results in this in-vivo study clearly demonstrate that DHA treatment reduces key factors associated with spinal cord trauma. Treatment with DHA significantly reduced: (1) the degree of spinal cord inflammation and tissue injury, (2) pro-inflammatory cytokine expression (TNF-α), (3) nitrotyrosine formation, (4) glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) expression, and (5) apoptosis (Fas-L, Bax, and Bcl-2 expression). Moreover, DHA significantly improved the recovery of limb function.
Furthermore, in this study we evaluated the effect of oxidative stress on dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells using a well-characterized in-vitro model. Treatment with DHA ameliorated the effects of oxidative stress on neurite length and branching.
Our results, in vivo and in vitro, clearly demonstrate that DHA treatment reduces the development of inflammation and tissue injury associated with spinal cord trauma.
PMCID: PMC3895696  PMID: 24405628
DHA; Inflammation; Omega-3; Oxidative stress; Spinal cord injury
11.  Concurrent Helicobacter bilis Infection in C57BL/6 Mice Attenuates Proinflammatory H. pylori-Induced Gastric Pathology▿  
Infection and Immunity  2009;77(5):2147-2158.
Because coinfections can alter helicobacter gastritis, we investigated whether enterohepatic Helicobacter bilis modulates Helicobacter pylori gastritis in C57BL/6 mice. Thirty mice per group were sham dosed, H. bilis or H. pylori infected, or H. bilis infected followed in 2 weeks by H. pylori and then evaluated at 6 and 11 months postinfection (mpi) for gastritis and premalignant lesions. Compared to H. pylori-infected mice, H. bilis/H. pylori-infected mice at 6 and 11 mpi had less severe gastritis, atrophy, mucous metaplasia and hyperplasia (P < 0.01) and, additionally, at 11 mpi, less severe intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia (P < 0.05). H. bilis/H. pylori-infected mice at 11 mpi exhibited less Ki67 labeling of proliferating epithelial cells, reduced numbers of FoxP3+ T-regulatory (TREG) cells, and lower FoxP3+ mRNA levels than did H. pylori-infected mice (P < 0.05). Proinflammatory interleukin-1β (IL-1β), gamma interferon, and tumor necrosis factor alpha mRNA levels were attenuated in H. bilis/H. pylori-infected mice at 6 and 11 mpi (P < 0.01), although anti-inflammatory IL-10, IL-13, and transforming growth factor β1 mRNA levels were not consistently impacted by H. bilis coinfection. Decreased pathology in H. bilis/H. pylori-infected mice correlated with higher gastric H. pylori colonization at 6 mpi (P < 0.001) and lower Th1-associated immunoglobulin G2c responses to H. pylori at 6 and 10 mpi (P < 0.05). We hypothesized that reduced pathology in H. bilis/H. pylori-infected mice was due to H. bilis-primed TREG cells in the lower bowel that migrated to the gastric compartment and inhibited Th1 responses to subsequent H. pylori infection. Thus, H. pylori-induced gastric lesions may vary in mouse models of unknown enteric helicobacter infection status and, importantly, variable sequelae to human H. pylori infection, particularly in developing countries, may occur where coinfection with lower bowel helicobacters and H. pylori may be common.
PMCID: PMC2681733  PMID: 19223483
12.  Expression of human β-defensin 2 (hBD-2) in Helicobacter pylori induced gastritis: antibacterial effect of hBD-2 against Helicobacter pylori 
Gut  2001;49(4):481-487.
BACKGROUND—Human β-defensin 2 (hBD-2) plays a role in the innate defence system at mucosal surfaces. Colonisation of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach is an important pathological factor in gastrointestinal illnesses, including gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric adenocarcinoma.
AIMS—To evaluate the antibacterial role of hBD-2 against H pylori infection in the gastric mucosa.
SUBJECTS—Biopsied gastric mucosa specimens from H pylori positive (n=6) and H pylori negative (n=6) individuals were used. H pylori was determined by the presence of urease activity and microscopic examination.
METHODS—The specimens were examined for hBD-2 expression by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridisation. The antibacterial effect of hBD-2 against H pylori was evaluated by the number of colony forming units of H pylori after incubation with 0, 10−9, 10−8, 10−7, 10−6, or 10−5 M of hBD-2 peptide.
RESULTS—All six H pylori positive specimens expressed a high level of hBD-2 mRNA while hBD-2 mRNA was not detected in the H pylori negative specimens by RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry using anti-hBD-2 antiserum revealed that hBD-2 was expressed in the surface epithelium of H pylori infected specimens. In gastric specimens obtained after H pylori eradication, hBD-2 immunoreactivity had dramatically decreased. In situ hybridisation confirmed that hBD-2 transcripts were localised in the epithelium of H pylori infected gastric specimens. Incubation with hBD-2 reduced the growth rate of cultured H pylori in a dose dependent manner, and incubation with 10−5 M hBD-2 completely inhibited the proliferation of H pylori.
CONCLUSIONS—H pylori infection induces hBD-2 expression in the human gastric epithelium. hBD-2 inhibited the growth of H pylori in vitro, suggesting that hBD-2 plays an antibacterial role in H pylori induced gastritis.

Keywords: human β-defensin 2; Helicobacter pylori; gastritis; antimicrobial peptide
PMCID: PMC1728463  PMID: 11559643
13.  Antimicrobial Activity of Curcumin against Helicobacter pylori Isolates from India and during Infections in Mice▿  
Treatment failure is a major cause of concern for the Helicobacter pylori-related gastroduodenal diseases like gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer. Curcumin, diferuloylmethane from turmeric, has recently been shown to arrest H. pylori growth. The antibacterial activity of curcumin against 65 clinical isolates of H. pylori in vitro and during protection against H. pylori infection in vivo was examined. The MIC of curcumin ranges from 5 μg/ml to 50 μg/ml, showing its effectiveness in inhibiting H. pylori growth in vitro irrespective of the genetic makeup of the strains. The nucleotide sequences of the aroE genes, encoding shikimate dehydrogenase, against which curcumin seems to act as a noncompetitive inhibitor, from H. pylori strains presenting differential curcumin MICs showed that curcumin-mediated growth inhibition of Indian H. pylori strains may not be always dependent on the shikimate pathway. The antimicrobial effect of curcumin in H. pylori-infected C57BL/6 mice and its efficacy in reducing the gastric damage due to infection were examined histologically. Curcumin showed immense therapeutic potential against H. pylori infection as it was highly effective in eradication of H. pylori from infected mice as well as in restoration of H. pylori-induced gastric damage. This study provides novel insights into the therapeutic effect of curcumin against H. pylori infection, suggesting its potential as an alternative therapy, and opens the way for further studies on identification of novel antimicrobial targets of curcumin.
PMCID: PMC2663130  PMID: 19204190
14.  Polyamines Impair Immunity to Helicobacter pylori by Inhibiting L-Arginine Uptake Required for Nitric Oxide Production 
Gastroenterology  2010;139(5):1686-1698.e6.
Helicobacter pylori-induced immune responses fail to eradicate the bacterium. Nitric oxide (NO) can kill H. pylori. However, translation of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and NO generation by H. pylori-stimulated macrophages is inhibited by the polyamine spermine derived from ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), and is dependent on availability of the iNOS substrate L-arginine (L-Arg). We determined if spermine inhibits iNOS-mediated immunity by reducing L-Arg uptake into macrophages.
Levels of the inducible cationic amino acid transporter (CAT)2, ODC, and iNOS were measured in macrophages and H. pylori gastritis tissues. L-Arg uptake, iNOS expression, and NO levels were assessed in cells with siRNA knockdown of CAT2 or ODC, and in gastric macrophages. The ODC inhibitor, α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), was administered to H. pylori-infected mice for 4 months post-inoculation.
H. pylori induced CAT2 and uptake of L-Arg in RAW 264.7 or primary macrophages. Addition of spermine or knockdown of CAT2 inhibited L-Arg uptake, NO production, and iNOS protein levels, whereas knockdown of ODC had the opposite effect. CAT2 and ODC were increased in mouse and human H. pylori gastritis tissues and localized to macrophages. Gastric macrophages from H. pylori-infected mice exhibited increased ODC expression, and attenuated iNOS and NO levels upon ex vivo H. pylori stimulation versus cells from uninfected mice. DFMO treatment of infected mice restored L-Arg uptake, iNOS protein expression, and NO production in gastric macrophages, and significantly reduced both H. pylori colonization levels and gastritis severity.
Upregulation of ODC in gastric macrophages impairs host defense against H. pylori by suppressing iNOS-derived NO production.
PMCID: PMC2967614  PMID: 20600019
spermine; macrophages; gastritis
15.  Effect of Sucralfate on Antibiotic Therapy for Helicobacter pylori Infection in Mice 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2004;48(12):4582-4588.
It has been documented that sucralfate, a basic aluminum salt, enhances the efficacies of antibiotics against Helicobacter pylori, resulting in eradication rates comparable to those associated with the use of proton pump inhibitors. However, its mechanism of action remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate sucralfate's ability to complement antibiotic treatment of H. pylori infection in vivo. Four weeks following induced H. pylori infection, clarithromycin (CAM) and amoxicillin (AMPC) were administered orally to C57BL/6 mice for 5 days, both with and without sucralfate or lansoprazole. When sucralfate was concurrently given with CAM and AMPC at the maximum noninhibitory doses for the treatment of H. pylori infection, the bacterial clearance rates were comparable to those achieved by treatment with lansoprazole plus those antibiotics. The results of pharmacokinetic studies showed that lansoprazole delayed gastric clearance and accelerated the absorption of CAM, whereas sucralfate suppressed both gastric clearance and absorption. AMPC was undetectable in all samples. Scanning electron microscopy with a microscope to which a energy dispersive spectrometer was attached revealed that aluminum-containing aggregated substances coated the mucosa surrounding H. pylori in mice receiving sucralfate plus antibiotics, whereas the gastric surface and pits where H. pylori had attached were clearly visible in mice receiving lansoprazole plus antibiotics. The addition of sucralfate to the antibiotic suspension resulted in a more viscous mixture that bound to the H. pylori-infected mucosa and that inhibited the loss of CAM bioavailability in the acidic environment. Sucralfate delays gastric clearance of CAM and physically captures H. pylori through the creation of an adherent mucus, which leads to bacterial clearance.
PMCID: PMC529215  PMID: 15561829
16.  Fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue and gastric mucosa: is there a relation with gastric ulceration? 
Both in vitro and epidemiological studies indicate that dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids may play a protective role against peptic ulcer in humans. Adipose tissue fatty acid composition is thought to reflect dietary fatty acid intake. The aim of the present study is to investigate adipose and gastric mucosa fatty acid levels in relation to gastric ulceration status.
Fifty two adult outpatients undergoing upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy participated in the study. Adipose tissue samples were taken from the abdomen and buttock during the endoscopy procedure and samples from gastric tissue were taken from a subsample of 30 subjects. The presence of Helicobacter pylori was determined using the CLO test. Capillary gas chromatography was used for the extraction of 36 and 42 adipose tissue and gastric mucosa lipids respectively.
The monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) C18:1n-12c, C16:1n-5, C16:4n-1 and the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) C16:3n-4, C20:3n-3, C20:4n-6, C21:5n-3 and C18:2n-9c,12t of the gastric mucosa were present in higher proportions in ulcer negative patients. These unsaturated fatty acids, however, each contributed less than 1% on average to total fatty acid content. In addition, higher average levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) C20:5n-3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) C22:6n-3 were detected in abdominal and buttock samples in CLO negative controls, compared to CLO positive controls. Adipose tissue and gastric mucosa n-6 and trans fatty acid levels were positively linearly correlated (r = 0.37 and 0.41 for n-6 and trans fatty acids respectively).
Certain minor MUFAs and PUFAs of the gastric mucosa appear to be present in higher proportions in ulcer negative patients. Overall, the findings provide only weak evidence of an association between the gastric mucosal fatty acids and the presence of gastric ulceration. The higher average levels of EPA and DHA in abdominal and buttock adipose tissue in CLO negative controls could be an indicator that dietary FAs inhibit Helicobacter pylori growth. Larger studies are necessary to provide evidence of a biologically relevant effect.
PMCID: PMC2636823  PMID: 19166613
17.  Recombinant human lactoferrin enhances the efficacy of triple therapy in mice infected with Helicobacter pylori 
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a life-threatening pathogen which causes chronic gastritis, gastric ulcers and even stomach cancer. Treatment normally involves bacterial eradication; however, this type of treatment only has a rate of effectiveness of <80%. Thus, it is a matter of some urgency to develop new therapeutic strategies. Lactoferrin, a member of the transferrin family of iron-binding proteins, has been proven to be effective in removing a vast range of pathogens, including H. pylori. In the present study, we examined the effectiveness of recombinant human lactoferrin (rhLf) isolated from transgenic goats as a treatment for H. pylori in vitro and in vivo. For the in vivo experiments, BALB/c mice received an intragastric administration of 0.1 ml of a suspension of H. pylori. The mice were then divided into 4 groups: group A, treated with saline; group B, treated with 1.5 g of rhLF; group C, treated with the standard triple therapy regimen; and group D, treated with the standard triple therapy regimen plus.5 g of rhLF. Following sacrifice, the stomach tissues of the mice were histologically examined for the presence of bacteria. For the in vitro experiments, the bacteria were cultured in BHI broth and RT-qPCR and western blot analysis were carried out to determine the mRNA and protein levels of virulence factors (CagA and VacA) in the cultures. Our results revealed that rhLf not only inhibited the growth of H. pylori, but also suppressed the expression of two major virulence factors. Moreover, rhLf markedly increased bacterial eradication and effectively reduced the inflammatory response when combined with the standard triple therapy regimen. These results provide evidence supporting the use of rhLF as an adjuvant to traditional therapeutic strategies in the treatment of H. pylori.
PMCID: PMC4501646  PMID: 26080893
recombinant human lactoferrin; Helicobacter pylori; standard triple therapy regimen; bacterial eradication; inflammatory response
18.  Inhibitory effects of docosahexaenoic acid on colon carcinoma 26 metastasis to the lung. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;75(5):650-655.
Unsaturated fatty acids, including n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) such as docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6, DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5, EPA), and a series of n-6 PUFAs were investigated for their anti-tumour and antimetastatic effects in a subcutaneous (s.c.) implanted highly metastatic colon carcinoma 26 (Co 26Lu) model. EPA and DHA exerted significant inhibitory effects on tumour growth at the implantation site and significantly decreased the numbers of lung metastatic nodules. Oleic acid also significantly inhibited lung metastatic nodules. Treatment with arachidonic acid showed a tendency for reduction in colonization. However, treatment with high doses of fatty acids, especially linoleic acid, increased the numbers of lung metastatic nodules. DHA and EPA only inhibited lung colonizations when administered together with the tumour cells, suggesting that their incorporation is necessary for an influence to be exerted. Chromatography confirmed that contents of fatty acids in both tumour tissues and plasma were indeed affected by the treatments. Tumour cells pretreated with fatty acids in vivo, in particular DHA, also showed a low potential for lung colony formation when transferred to new hosts. Thus, DHA treatment exerted marked antimetastatic activity associated with pronounced change in the fatty acid component of tumour cells. The results indicate that uptake of DHA into tumour cells results in altered tumour cell membrane characteristics and a decreased ability to metastasize.
PMCID: PMC2063338  PMID: 9043019
19.  Roles of α and β Carbonic Anhydrases of Helicobacter pylori in the Urease-Dependent Response to Acidity and in Colonization of the Murine Gastric Mucosa▿  
Infection and Immunity  2007;76(2):497-509.
Carbon dioxide occupies a central position in the physiology of Helicobacter pylori owing to its capnophilic nature, the large amounts of carbon dioxide produced by urease-mediated urea hydrolysis, and the constant bicarbonate supply in the stomach. Carbonic anhydrases (CA) catalyze the interconversion of carbon dioxide and bicarbonate and are involved in functions such as CO2 transport or trapping and pH homeostasis. H. pylori encodes a periplasmic α-CA (α-CA-HP) and a cytoplasmic β-CA (β-CA-HP). Single CA inactivation and double CA inactivation were obtained for five genetic backgrounds, indicating that H. pylori CA are not essential for growth in vitro. Bicarbonate-carbon dioxide exchange rates were measured by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy using lysates of parental strains and CA mutants. Only the mutants defective in the α-CA-HP enzyme showed strongly reduced exchange rates. In H. pylori, urease activity is essential for acid resistance in the gastric environment. Urease activity measured using crude cell extracts was not modified by the absence of CA. With intact CA mutant cells incubated in acidic conditions (pH 2.2) in the presence of urea there was a delay in the increase in the pH of the incubation medium, a phenotype most pronounced in the absence of H. pylori α-CA. This correlated with a delay in acid activation of the urease as measured by slower ammonia production in whole cells. The role of CA in vivo was examined using the mouse model of infection with two mouse-adapted H. pylori strains, SS1 and X47-2AL. Compared to colonization by the wild-type strain, colonization by X47-2AL single and double CA mutants was strongly reduced. Colonization by SS1 CA mutants was not significantly different from colonization by wild-type strain SS1. However, when mice were infected by SS1 Δ(β-CA-HP) or by a SS1 double CA mutant, the inflammation scores of the mouse gastric mucosa were strongly reduced. In conclusion, CA contribute to the urease-dependent response to acidity of H. pylori and are required for high-grade inflammation and efficient colonization by some strains.
PMCID: PMC2223474  PMID: 18025096
20.  Caveolin-1 Protects B6129 Mice against Helicobacter pylori Gastritis 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(4):e1003251.
Caveolin-1 (Cav1) is a scaffold protein and pathogen receptor in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. Chronic infection of gastric epithelial cells by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a major risk factor for human gastric cancer (GC) where Cav1 is frequently down-regulated. However, the function of Cav1 in H. pylori infection and pathogenesis of GC remained unknown. We show here that Cav1-deficient mice, infected for 11 months with the CagA-delivery deficient H. pylori strain SS1, developed more severe gastritis and tissue damage, including loss of parietal cells and foveolar hyperplasia, and displayed lower colonisation of the gastric mucosa than wild-type B6129 littermates. Cav1-null mice showed enhanced infiltration of macrophages and B-cells and secretion of chemokines (RANTES) but had reduced levels of CD25+ regulatory T-cells. Cav1-deficient human GC cells (AGS), infected with the CagA-delivery proficient H. pylori strain G27, were more sensitive to CagA-related cytoskeletal stress morphologies (“humming bird”) compared to AGS cells stably transfected with Cav1 (AGS/Cav1). Infection of AGS/Cav1 cells triggered the recruitment of p120 RhoGTPase-activating protein/deleted in liver cancer-1 (p120RhoGAP/DLC1) to Cav1 and counteracted CagA-induced cytoskeletal rearrangements. In human GC cell lines (MKN45, N87) and mouse stomach tissue, H. pylori down-regulated endogenous expression of Cav1 independently of CagA. Mechanistically, H. pylori activated sterol-responsive element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1) to repress transcription of the human Cav1 gene from sterol-responsive elements (SREs) in the proximal Cav1 promoter. These data suggested a protective role of Cav1 against H. pylori-induced inflammation and tissue damage. We propose that H. pylori exploits down-regulation of Cav1 to subvert the host's immune response and to promote signalling of its virulence factors in host cells.
Author Summary
Infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) mainly affects children in the developing countries who are at risk to progress to gastric cancer (GC) as adults after many years of persistent infection, especially with strains which are positive for the oncogenic virulence factor CagA. Eradication of H. pylori by antibiotics is a treatment of choice but may also alter the susceptibility to allergies and other tumor types. Thus, novel diagnostic or prognostic markers are needed which detect early molecular changes in the stomach mucosa during the transition of chronic inflammation to cancer. In our study, we found that the tumor suppressor caveolin-1 (Cav1) is reduced upon infection with H. pylori, and CagA was sufficient but not necessary for this down-regulation. Loss of Cav1 was caused by H. pylori-dependent activation of sterol-responsive element-binding protein-1 (SREBP1), and this event abolished the interaction of Cav1 with p120 RhoGTPase-activating protein/deleted in liver cancer-1 (p120RhoGAP/DLC1), a second bona fide tumor suppressor in gastric tissue. Conclusively, Cav1 and DLC1 may constitute novel molecular markers in the H. pylori-infected gastric mucosa before neoplastic transformation of the epithelium.
PMCID: PMC3623771  PMID: 23592983
21.  Astaxanthin-Rich Algal Meal and Vitamin C Inhibit Helicobacter pylori Infection in BALB/cA Mice 
Helicobacter pylori infection in humans is associated with chronic type B gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric carcinoma. A high intake of carotenoids and vitamin C has been proposed to prevent development of gastric malignancies. The aim of this study was to explore if the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis rich in the carotenoid astaxanthin and vitamin C can inhibit experimental H. pylori infection in a BALB/cA mouse model. Six-week-old BALB/cA mice were infected with the mouse-passaged H. pylori strain 119/95. At 2 weeks postinoculation mice were treated orally once daily for 10 days (i) with different doses of algal meal rich in astaxanthin (0.4, 2, and 4 g/kg of body weight, with the astaxanthin content at 10, 50, and 100 mg/kg, respectively), (ii) with a control meal (algal meal without astaxanthin, 4 g/kg), or (iii) with vitamin C (400 mg/kg). Five mice from each group were sacrificed 1 day after the cessation of treatment, and the other five animals were sacrificed 10 days after the cessation of treatment. Culture of H. pylori and determination of the inflammation score of the gastric mucosae were used to determine the outcome of the treatment. Mice treated with astaxanthin-rich algal meal or vitamin C showed significantly lower colonization levels and lower inflammation scores than those of untreated or control-meal-treated animals at 1 day and 10 days after the cessation of treatment. Lipid peroxidation was significantly decreased in mice treated with the astaxanthin-rich algal meal and vitamin C compared with that of animals not treated or treated with the control meal. Both astaxanthin-rich algal meal and vitamin C showed an inhibitory effect on H. pylori growth in vitro. In conclusion, antioxidants may be a new strategy for treating H. pylori infection in humans.
PMCID: PMC90084  PMID: 10952594
22.  DC-derived IL-18 drives Treg differentiation, murine Helicobacter pylori–specific immune tolerance, and asthma protection  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2012;122(3):1082-1096.
Persistent colonization with the gastric bacterial pathogen Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and predisposes infected individuals to gastric cancer. Conversely, it is also linked to protection from allergic, chronic inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases. We demonstrate here that H. pylori inhibits LPS-induced maturation of DCs and reprograms DCs toward a tolerance-promoting phenotype. Our results showed that DCs exposed to H. pylori in vitro or in vivo failed to induce T cell effector functions. Instead, they efficiently induced expression of the forkhead transcription factor FoxP3, the master regulator of Tregs, in naive T cells. Depletion of DCs in mice infected with H. pylori during the neonatal period was sufficient to break H. pylori–specific tolerance. DC depletion resulted in improved control of the infection but also aggravated T cell–driven immunopathology. Consistent with the mouse data, DCs infiltrating the gastric mucosa of human H. pylori carriers exhibited a semimature DC-SIGN+HLA–DRhiCD80loCD86lo phenotype. Mechanistically, the tolerogenic activity of H. pylori–experienced DCs was shown to require IL-18 in vitro and in vivo; DC-derived IL-18 acted directly on T cells to drive their conversion to Tregs. CD4+CD25+ Tregs from infected wild-type mice but not Il18–/– or Il18r1–/– mice prevented airway inflammation and hyperresponsiveness in an experimental model of asthma. Taken together, our results indicate that tolerogenic reprogramming of DCs ensures the persistence of H. pylori and protects against allergic asthma in a process that requires IL-18.
PMCID: PMC3287234  PMID: 22307326
23.  Pathophysiology and clinical relevance of Helicobacter pylori. 
Considerable knowledge has recently accumulated on the mechanism by which Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) induces chronic gastritis. Although H. pylori is not an invasive bacterium, soluble surface constituents can provoke pepsinogen release from gastric chief cells or trigger local inflammation in the underlying tissue. Urease appears to be one of the prime chemoattractants for recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells. Release of cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 and 6, and oxygen radicals, leads to a further tissue inflammation accompanied by a potent systemic IgA and IgG type of immune response. Chronic inflammation and antigens on glandular epithelial cells lead to a progressive destruction with loss of the epithelial barrier function. Within the gastric mucosa, patches of intestinal metaplasia develop, which may be a risk factor for subsequent development of gastric carcinoma. Hyperacidity in duodenal ulcer patients induces gastric metaplasia in the duodenal bulb, which represents a target for H. pylori colonization and ulcer formation. H. pylori can be detected in the majority of patients with peptic ulcers and, compared to age-matched healthy people, it is also found more often in patients with dyspepsia and gastric carcinoma. Although H. pylori can be detected in healthy people, the marked reduction of the ulcer recurrence rate by eradication of H. pylori (80 percent versus 20 percent relapse within one year) suggests that H. pylori is a major risk factor for duodenal ulcer formation. The potential role of H. pylori in non-ulcer dyspepsia and carcinogenesis is under investigation. Current regimens aimed at eradicating H. pylori use a combination of several drugs that are potentially toxic. Since the risk of complications may exceed the potential benefit in most patients, eradication treatment should be limited to clinical trials and to patients with aggressive ulcer disease. New drug regimens, e.g., the combination of proton pump inhibitors with one antibiotic, may provide less toxic alternatives. Beyond ulcer treatment, effective and well-tolerated eradication regimens may have a place in prophylaxis of gastric carcinoma.
PMCID: PMC2589759  PMID: 1341068
24.  Evolution of Helicobacter: Acquisition by Gastric Species of Two Histidine-Rich Proteins Essential for Colonization 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(12):e1005312.
Metal acquisition and intracellular trafficking are crucial for all cells and metal ions have been recognized as virulence determinants in bacterial pathogens. Virulence of the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori is dependent on nickel, cofactor of two enzymes essential for in vivo colonization, urease and [NiFe] hydrogenase. We found that two small paralogous nickel-binding proteins with high content in Histidine (Hpn and Hpn-2) play a central role in maintaining non-toxic intracellular nickel content and in controlling its intracellular trafficking. Measurements of metal resistance, intracellular nickel contents, urease activities and interactomic analysis were performed. We observed that Hpn acts as a nickel-sequestration protein, while Hpn-2 is not. In vivo, Hpn and Hpn-2 form homo-multimers, interact with each other, Hpn interacts with the UreA urease subunit while Hpn and Hpn-2 interact with the HypAB hydrogenase maturation proteins. In addition, Hpn-2 is directly or indirectly restricting urease activity while Hpn is required for full urease activation. Based on these data, we present a model where Hpn and Hpn-2 participate in a common pathway of controlled nickel transfer to urease. Using bioinformatics and top-down proteomics to identify the predicted proteins, we established that Hpn-2 is only expressed by H. pylori and its closely related species Helicobacter acinonychis. Hpn was detected in every gastric Helicobacter species tested and is absent from the enterohepatic Helicobacter species. Our phylogenomic analysis revealed that Hpn acquisition was concomitant with the specialization of Helicobacter to colonization of the gastric environment and the duplication at the origin of hpn-2 occurred in the common ancestor of H. pylori and H. acinonychis. Finally, Hpn and Hpn-2 were found to be required for colonization of the mouse model by H. pylori. Our data show that during evolution of the Helicobacter genus, acquisition of Hpn and Hpn-2 by gastric Helicobacter species constituted a decisive evolutionary event to allow Helicobacter to colonize the hostile gastric environment, in which no other bacteria persistently thrives. This acquisition was key for the emergence of one of the most successful bacterial pathogens, H. pylori.
Author Summary
Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that persistently colonizes the stomach of half of the human population. Infection by H. pylori is associated with gastritis, peptic ulcer disease and adenocarcinoma. To resist gastric acidity and proliferate in the stomach, H. pylori relies on urease, an enzyme that contains a nickel-metallocenter at its active site. Thus, nickel is a virulence determinant for H. pylori. Our aim is to characterize how H. pylori controls the intracellular nickel concentration to avoid toxicity, which protein partners are involved, and how they impact urease activity and virulence. We characterized two H. pylori proteins, Hpn and Hpn-2 that are rich in Histidine residues. We demonstrated that Hpn is involved in nickel sequestration, that the two proteins interact with each other and that their combined activities participate in a nickel transfer pathway to urease. Hpn is only expressed in gastric Helicobacter species able to colonize the stomach and Hpn-2 is restricted to the H. pylori and its close relative H. acinonychis. We found that both proteins are essential for colonization of a mouse model by H. pylori. We conclude that during evolution, the acquisition of Hpn and Hpn-2 by gastric Helicobacter species was decisive for their capacity to colonize the stomach.
PMCID: PMC4671568  PMID: 26641249
25.  Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Helicobacter pylori-Infected Gastric Epithelial Cells 
Mediators of Inflammation  2014;2014:128919.
Helicobacter pylori is an important risk factor for gastric inflammation, which is mediated by multiple signaling pathways. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as linoleic acid (LA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), on the expression of the proinflammatory chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) in H. pylori-infected gastric epithelial AGS cells. To investigate whether PUFAs modulate H. pylori-induced inflammatory signaling, we determined the activation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), protein kinase C-δ (PKCδ), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and activator protein-1 (AP-1) as well as IL-8 expression in H. pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells that had been treated with or without PUFAs. We found that PUFAs inhibited IL-8 mRNA and protein expression in H. pylori-infected cells. ω-3 fatty acids (ALA, and DHA) suppressed the activation of EGFR, PKCδ, MAPK, NF-κB, and AP-1 in these infected cells. LA did not prevent EGFR transactivation and exhibited a less potent inhibitory effect on IL-8 expression than did ALA and DHA. In conclusion, PUFAs may be beneficial for prevention of H. pylori-associated gastric inflammation by inhibiting proinflammatory IL-8 expression.
PMCID: PMC4060060  PMID: 24987192

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