Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacterium which causes chronic gastritis and plays important roles in peptic ulcer disease, gastric carcinoma, and gastric lymphoma. H. pylori has been found in the stomachs of humans in all parts of the world. In developing countries, 70 to 90% of the population carries H. pylori. In developed countries, the prevalence of infection is lower. There appears to be no substantial reservoir of H. pylori aside from the human stomach. Transmission can occur by iatrogenic, fecal-oral, and oral-oral routes. H. pylori is able to colonize and persist in a unique biological niche within the gastric lumen. All fresh isolates of H. pylori express significant urease activity, which appears essential to the survival and pathogenesis of the bacterium. A variety of tests to diagnose H. pylori infection are now available. Histological examination of gastric tissue, culture, rapid urease testing, DNA probes, and PCR analysis, when used to test gastric tissue, all require endoscopy. In contrast, breath tests, serology, gastric juice PCR, and urinary excretion of [15N]ammonia are noninvasive tests that do not require endoscopy. In this review, we highlight advances in the detection of the presence of the organism and methods of differentiating among types of H. pylori, and we provide a background for appropriate chemotherapy of the infection.
In vitro or animal models have been used to investigate the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infection. However, extrapolation to humans of results obtained with these heterologous models remains difficult. We have developed a new model for the study of H. pylori infection that uses human entire embryonic stomachs engrafted in nude mice. At 80 days after implantation, 22 of these xenografts, which exhibited a mature gastric epithelium, were inoculated with 107 to 108 CFU of either H. pylori LB1, a freshly isolated H. pylori strain (n = 12), or H. pylori ATCC 49503 (n = 10). After 12-week examination, H. pylori LB1 persistently colonized the antrum of all inoculated grafts, as assessed by culture (mucus and mucosa), immunohistochemistry (mucosa), and a rapid urease test (mucus). H. pylori ATCC 49503, either before or after in vivo passage, permitted only a transient 2-week colonization in one of the five inoculated grafts in both groups. Colonization was always associated with an increase of gastric juice pH. A mild neutrophil infiltration of the gastric mucosa was noted solely in infected grafts. Transmission electron microscopy showed adherence of H. pylori organisms to epithelial cell surface. In six animals, intracytoplasmic location of this bacterium was observed in the antrum or the fundus. These results allow us to propose this model as a new ex vivo model for the study of specific H. pylori-gastric cell interactions.
Helicobacter pylori is a gram-negative bacterium that persistently colonizes more than half of the global human population. In order to successfully colonize the human stomach, H. pylori must initially overcome multiple innate host defenses. Remarkably, H. pylori can persistently colonize the stomach for decades or an entire lifetime despite development of an acquired immune response. This review focuses on the immune response to H. pylori and the mechanisms by which H. pylori resists immune clearance. Three main sections of the review are devoted to (i) analysis of the immune response to H. pylori in humans, (ii) analysis of interactions of H. pylori with host immune defenses in animal models, and (iii) interactions of H. pylori with immune cells in vitro. The topics addressed in this review are important for understanding how H. pylori resists immune clearance and also are relevant for understanding the pathogenesis of diseases caused by H. pylori (peptic ulcer disease, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric lymphoma).
Summary: Helicobacter pylori is a gastric pathogen that colonizes approximately 50% of the world's population. Infection with H. pylori causes chronic inflammation and significantly increases the risk of developing duodenal and gastric ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Infection with H. pylori is the strongest known risk factor for gastric cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Once H. pylori colonizes the gastric environment, it persists for the lifetime of the host, suggesting that the host immune response is ineffective in clearing this bacterium. In this review, we discuss the host immune response and examine other host factors that increase the pathogenic potential of this bacterium, including host polymorphisms, alterations to the apical-junctional complex, and the effects of environmental factors. In addition to host effects and responses, H. pylori strains are genetically diverse. We discuss the main virulence determinants in H. pylori strains and the correlation between these and the diverse clinical outcomes following H. pylori infection. Since H. pylori inhibits the gastric epithelium of half of the world, it is crucial that we continue to gain understanding of host and microbial factors that increase the risk of developing more severe clinical outcomes.
Helicobacter pylori, a human pathogen associated with chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer and gastric malignancies, is generally viewed as an extracellular microorganism. Here, we show that H. pylori replicates in murine bone marrow derived-dendritic cells (BMDCs) within autophagosomes.
A 10-fold increase of CFU is found between 2 h and 6 h p.i. in H. pylori-infected BMDCs. Autophagy is induced around the bacterium and participates at late time points of infection for the clearance of intracellular H. pylori. As a consequence of infection, LC3, LAMP1 and MHC class II molecules are retained within the H. pylori-containing vacuoles and export of MHC class II molecules to cell surface is blocked. However, formalin-fixed H. pylori still maintain this inhibitory activity in BMDC derived from wild type mice, but not in from either TLR4 or TLR2-deficient mice, suggesting the involvement of H. pylori-LPS in this process. TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-10 expression was also modulated upon infection showing a TLR2-specific dependent IL-10 secretion. No IL-12 was detected favoring the hypothesis of a down modulation of DC functions during H. pylori infection. Furthermore, antigen-specific T cells proliferation was also impaired upon infection.
H. pylori can infect and replicate in BMDCs and thereby affects DC-mediated immune responses. The implication of this new finding is discussed for the biological life cycle of H. pylori in the host.
Background & Aims
The Helicobacter pylori toxin vacuolating cytotoxin (VacA) promotes gastric colonization and its presence (VacA+) is associated with more-severe disease. The exact mechanisms by which VacA contributes to infection are unclear. We previously found that limited exposure to VacA induces autophagy of gastric cells, which eliminates the toxin; we investigated whether autophagy serves as a defense mechanism against H pylori infection.
We investigated the effect of VacA on autophagy in human gastric epithelial cells (AGS) and primary gastric cells from mice. Expression of p62, a marker of autophagy, was also assessed in gastric tissues from patients infected with toxigenic (VacA+) or nontoxigenic strains. We analyzed the effect of VacA on autophagy in peripheral blood monocytes obtained from subjects with different genotypes of ATG16L1, which regulates autophagy. We performed genotyping for ATG16L1 in two cohorts of infected and uninfected subjects.
Prolonged exposure of AGS and mouse gastric cells to VacA disrupted induction of autophagy in response to the toxin, because the cells lacked cathepsin-D in autophagosomes. Loss of autophagy resulted in the accumulation of p62 and reactive oxygen species. Gastric biopsies samples from patients infected with VacA+, but not nontoxigenic strains of H pylori, had increased levels of p62. Peripheral blood monocytes isolated from individuals with polymorphisms in ATG16L1 that increase susceptibility to Crohn's disease had reduced induction of autophagy in response to VacA+ compared to cells from individuals that did not have these polymorphisms. The presence of the ATG16L1 Crohn’s disease risk variant increased susceptibility to H pylori infection in 2 separate cohorts.
Autophagy protects against infection with H pylori; the toxin VacA disrupts autophagy to promote infection, which could contribute to inflammation and eventual carcinogenesis.
stomach cancer; genetic; bacteria toxin; tumor
Helicobacter pylori has been cultured from the inflamed gastric mucosae of naturally infected cats; the lesions in H. pylori-infected cat stomachs mimic many of the features seen in H. pylori-infected human stomachs. To determine whether H. pylori-negative specific-pathogen-free cats with normal gastric mucosae were susceptible to colonization by this bacterium and whether gastritis developed after infections, four H. pylori-negative cats treated with cimetidine were orally dosed three times with 3 ml (1.5 x 10(8) CFU/ml) of H. pylori every 4 days. All four cats became persistently colonized as determined by gastric cultures and PCRs from serial gastric biopsy samples and necropsy samples at 7 months postinfection. H. pylori was not isolated from the two control cats, nor were their gastric tissues positive by PCR; one of the two cats had a few focal lymphocytic aggregates in the body submucosa, whereas the second cat had a normal gastric mucosa. All four H. pylori-infected cats had multifocal gastritis consisting of lymphoid aggregates plus multiple large lymphoid nodules, which were most noticeable in the antral mucosa. In addition, one H. pylori-infected cat had a moderate diffuse infiltration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the subglandular region of the antrum. H. pylori-like organisms were focally distributed in glandular crypts of the antrum. Two of the H. pylori-infected cats had significant (eightfold) increases over baseline in levels of immunoglobulin G H. pylori serum antibody. The H. pylori isolates from the four experimentally infected cats had restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns specific for the flaA gene that were identical to those of the inoculating strain. H. pylori readily colonizes the cat stomach and produces persistent gastritis.
Infection of the stomach with Helicobacter pylori is an important risk factor for gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric carcinoma. Although it has been well established that persistent colonization by H. pylori is associated with adaptive Th1 responses, the innate immune responses leading to these Th1 responses are poorly defined. Recent studies have shown that the activation of nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 1 (NOD1) in gastric epithelial cells plays an important role in innate immune responses against H. pylori. The detection of H. pylori-derived ligands by cytosolic NOD1 induces several host defense factors, including antimicrobial peptides, cytokines, and chemokines. In this paper, we review the molecular mechanisms by which NOD1 contributes to mucosal host defense against H. pylori infection of the stomach.
Helicobacter pylori colonizes the gastric and duodenal mucosa. The infection normally persists for life and causes peptic ulcers and gastric cancer in a subset of infected individuals. We hypothesized that the inability to clear the infection may be a consequence of H. pylori-specific regulatory T cells that actively suppress T-cell responses. Therefore, we characterized the T-cell responses to H. pylori in H. pylori-infected individuals without any subjective symptoms and in uninfected control subjects and investigated the role of regulatory CD4+ CD25high T cells during infection. The stimulation of CD4+ peripheral blood T cells with monocyte-derived dendritic cells pulsed with a membrane preparation of H. pylori resulted in proliferation and gamma interferon production in both infected and uninfected individuals. Sorted memory cells from infected individuals responded less than cells from uninfected subjects, and the unresponsiveness could be abolished by depletion of CD4+ CD25high regulatory T cells or the addition of interleukin 2. Furthermore, CD4+ CD25high T cells suppressed H. pylori-induced responses in cocultures with CD25low/− cells. Tetanus toxoid induced comparable responses in memory cells from infected and uninfected individuals in both the presence and the absence of regulatory T cells, suggesting that the suppression was H. pylori specific. In conclusion, we have shown that H. pylori-infected individuals have impaired memory CD4+ T-cell responses to H. pylori that are linked to the presence of H. pylori-specific regulatory T cells that actively suppress the responses.
The human pathogen Helicobacter pylori employs a diverse collection of outer membrane proteins to colonize, persist, and drive disease within the acidic gastric environment. In this study, we sought to elucidate the function of the host-induced gene HP0289, which encodes an uncharacterized outer membrane protein. We first generated an isogenic H. pylori mutant that lacks HP0289 and found that the mutant has a colonization defect in single-strain infections and is greatly outcompeted in mouse coinfection experiments with wild-type H. pylori. Furthermore, we used protease assays and biochemical fractionation coupled with an HP0289-targeted peptide antibody to verify that the HP0289 protein resides in the outer membrane. Our previous findings showed that the HP0289 promoter is upregulated in the mouse stomach, and here we demonstrate that HP0289 expression is induced under acidic conditions in an ArsRS-dependent manner. Finally, we have shown that the HP0289 mutant induces greater expression of the chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) and the cytokine tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in gastric carcinoma cells (AGS). Similarly, transcription of the IL-8 homolog keratinocyte-derived chemokine (KC) is elevated in murine infections with the HP0289 mutant than in murine infections with wild-type H. pylori. On the basis of this phenotype, we renamed HP0289 ImaA for immunomodulatory autotransporter protein. Our work has revealed that genes induced in vivo play an important role in H. pylori pathogenesis. Specifically, the outer membrane protein ImaA modulates a component of the host inflammatory response, and thus may allow H. pylori to fine tune the host immune response based on ImaA expression.
Chronic infection of the human stomach by Helicobacter pylori is an important risk factor for gastric cancer. H. pylori produces a cache of virulence factors that promote colonization and persistence, which, in turn, contributes to a robust inflammatory response at the host-pathogen interface. Recently, we reported that H. pylori activates the abundant nuclear regulator poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1, resulting in the production of the catabolite poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR). PARP-1 is emerging as a key player in establishing homeostasis at the host-pathogen interface. In this article, we summarize the discovery of H. pylori-dependent PARP-1 activation, and discuss potential roles for PARP-1 in H. pylori-mediated gastric disease. In light of the remarkable successes that have reported for treating inflammatory disorders and cancers with PARP-1 inhibitors, we discuss the prospects of targeting PARP-1 for treatment of H. pylori-associated gastric disease.
Helicobacter pylori; PARP-1; activation; cancer; apoptosis; inflammation
Helicobacter pylori, the causative agent of gastritis and ulcer disease in humans, secretes a toxin called VacA (vacuolating cytotoxin) into culture supernatants. VacA was initially characterized and purified on the basis of its ability to induce the formation of intracellular vacuoles in tissue culture cells. H. pylori strains possessing different alleles of vacA differ in their ability to express active toxin. Those strains expressing higher toxin levels are correlated with more severe gastric disease. However, the specific role(s) played by VacA during the course of infection and disease is not clear. We have used a mouse model of H. pylori infection to begin to address this role. A null mutation of vacA compromises H. pylori in its ability to initially establish infection. If an infection by a vacA mutant is established, the bacterial load and degree of inflammation are similar to those associated with an isogenic wild-type strain. Thus, in this infection model, vacA plays a role in the initial colonization of the host, suggesting that strains of H. pylori expressing active alleles of vacA may be better adapted for host-to-host transmission.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) virulence factors promote the release of various chemoattractants/inflammatory mediators, including mainly the neutrophil-attractant chemokine interleukin-8 and neutrophil-activating protein (NAP), involved in H. pylori-induced gastric pathologies. Co-administration of Chios mastic gum (CMG), which inhibits H. pylori NAP, with an H. pylori eradication regimen might add clinical benefits against H. pylori-related gastric pathologies, but possibly not CMG as main therapy. Although H. pylori NAP and other H. pylori-related cytotoxins [i.e., vaculating cytotoxin (VacA)] appear to play a major role in generating and maintaining the H. pylori-associated gastric inflammatory response and H. pylori NAP is a promising vaccine candidate against H. pylori infection (H. pylori-I), concerns regarding its potential drawbacks, particularly neurogenic ones, due to possible cross-mimicry, should be considered. Possible cross-mimicry between H. pylori NAP and/or bacterial aquaporin (AQP) and neural tissues may be associated with the anti-AQP-4 antibody-related neural damage in multiple sclerosis (MS)/neuromyelitis optica patients. Moreover, the sequence homology found between H. pylori VacA and human Na+/K+-ATPase A subunit suggests that antibodies to VacA involve ion channels in abaxonal Schwann cell plasmalemma resulting in demyelination in some patients. A series of factors have been implicated in inducing blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption, including inflammatory mediators (e.g., cytokines and chemokines induced by H. pylori-I) and oxidative stress. BBB disruption permits access of AQP4-specific antibodies and T lymphocytes to the central nervous system, thereby playing a major role in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis. Relative studies show a strong association between H. pylori-I and MS. H. pylori-I induces humoral and cellular immune responses that, owing to the sharing of homologous epitopes (molecular mimicry), cross-react with components of nerves, thereby contributing and perpetuating neural tissue damage. Finally, H. pylori NAP also plays a possible pathogenetic role in both gastric and colon oncogenesis.
Helicobacter pylori; Neutrophil-activating protein; Chios mastic gum; Cross-mimicry; Multiple sclerosis; Demyelination; Gastric carcinogenesis
Chronic Helicobacter pylori infection is recognized as a cause of gastric cancer. H. pylori adhesion to gastric cells is mediated by bacterial adhesins such as sialic acid–binding adhesin (SabA), which binds the carbohydrate structure sialyl–Lewis x. Sialyl–Lewis x expression in the gastric epithelium is induced during persistent H. pylori infection, suggesting that H. pylori modulates host cell glycosylation patterns for enhanced adhesion. Here, we evaluate changes in the glycosylation-related gene expression profile of a human gastric carcinoma cell line following H. pylori infection. We observed that H. pylori significantly altered expression of 168 of the 1,031 human genes tested by microarray, and the extent of these alterations was associated with the pathogenicity of the H. pylori strain. A highly pathogenic strain altered expression of several genes involved in glycan biosynthesis, in particular that encoding β3 GlcNAc T5 (β3GnT5), a GlcNAc transferase essential for the biosynthesis of Lewis antigens. β3GnT5 induction was specific to infection with highly pathogenic strains of H. pylori carrying a cluster of genes known as the cag pathogenicity island, and was dependent on CagA and CagE. Further, β3GnT5 overexpression in human gastric carcinoma cell lines led to increased sialyl–Lewis x expression and H. pylori adhesion. This study identifies what we believe to be a novel mechanism by which H. pylori modulates the biosynthesis of the SabA ligand in gastric cells, thereby strengthening the epithelial attachment necessary to achieve successful colonization.
The immune response to Helicobacter pylori involves a mixed T helper-1, T helper-2, and T helper-17 response. It has been suggested that T helper cells contribute to the gastric inflammatory response during infection, and that T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 17 (Th17) subsets may be required for control of H. pylori colonization in the stomach. The relative contributions of these subsets to gastritis and control of infection are still under investigation. IL-23 plays a role in stabilizing and expanding Th17 cell cytokine expression. Expression of IL-23, which is induced in dendritic cells and macrophages following co-culture with H. pylori, has also been reported to increase during H. pylori infection in humans and animal models. To investigate the role of IL-23 in H. pylori, we infected IL-23p19 deficient mice (IL-23−/−) and wild-type littermates with H. pylori strain SS1. At various time points post-infection, we assessed colonization, gastric inflammation, and cytokine profiles in the gastric tissue. Specifically, H. pylori-infected IL-23−/− mice have higher levels of H. pylori in their stomachs, significantly less chronic gastritis, and reduced expression of IL-17 and IFNγ compared to H. pylori-infected wild-type mice. While many of these differences were significant, the H. pylori infected IL-23−/− had mild increases in our measurements of disease severity. Our results indicate that IL-23 plays a role in the activation of the immune response and induction of gastritis in response to H. pylori by contributing to the control of infection and severity of gastritis.
Helicobacter pylori; T lymphocytes; IL-23; IL-17; cytokines; gastritis
Helicobacter pylori infection is prevalent worldwide and results in chronic gastritis, which may lead to gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma and gastric cancer. We have previously reported that oral immunization with recombinant Mycobacterium smegmatis expressing the H. pylori outer membrane protein 26-kilodalton (Omp26) antigen affords therapeutic protection against H. pylori infection in mice. In the present study, we investigated the prophylactic effects of this vaccine candidate on H. pylori challenge in mice. We found that oral immunization with recombinant Mycobacterium Omp26 significantly reduced H. pylori colonization in the stomach compared to inoculation with wild-type M. smegmatis in control mice. Six of the recombinant Mycobacterium-immunized mice (60%) were completely protected from H. pylori infection. The severity of H. pylori-associated chronic gastritis assessed histologically was significantly milder in mice vaccinated with recombinant Mycobacterium than in control animals. Mice immunized with recombinant Mycobacterium showed enhanced antigen-specific lymphocyte proliferation and antibody responses. Moreover, immunization with recombinant Mycobacterium resulted in an increased expression of interleukin-2 and gamma interferon in the stomach and spleen, as determined by reverse transcription-PCR analysis. Our results collectively suggest that vaccination with recombinant Mycobacterium Omp26 confers prophylactic protection against H. pylori infection. The inhibition of H. pylori colonization is associated with the induction of antigen-specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) has co-evolved with humans to be transmitted from person to person and to colonize the stomach persistently. A well-choreographed equilibrium between the bacterial effectors and host responses permits microbial persistence and health of the host, but confers a risk for serious diseases including gastric cancer. During its long coexistence with humans, H. pylori has developed complex strategies to limit the degree and extent of gastric mucosal damage and inflammation, as well as immune effector activity. The present editorial thus aims to introduce and comment on major advances in the rapidly developing area of H. pylori/human gastric mucosa interaction (and its pathological sequelae), which is the result of millennia of co-evolution of, and thus of reciprocal knowledge between, the pathogen and its human host.
Helicobacter pylori; Gastric mucosa; Pathogen/host interaction; Gastric diseases; Bacterial virulence factors; CagA; VacA
Helicobacter pylori is a spiral, gram-negative bacterium that specifically and persistently infects the human stomach. In some individuals, H. pylori-induced chronic gastritis may progress to gastroduodenal ulcers and gastric cancer. Currently, the host-microbe interactions that determine the clinical outcome of infection are not well defined. H. pylori strains capable of disrupting the gastric epithelial barrier may increase the likelihood of developing serious disease. In this study, H. pylori strain SS1 increased gastric, but not small intestinal, permeability in C57BL/6 mice. H. pylori strain SS1 was able to directly increase paracellular permeability, in the absence of host inflammatory cells, by disrupting the tight-junctional proteins occludin, claudin-4, and claudin-5 in confluent nontransformed epithelial cells. H. pylori SS1 also reduced claudin-4 protein levels in human gastric AGS cells. The ability of H. pylori SS1 to increase permeability appeared to be independent of the well-characterized virulence factors vacuolating cytotoxin and CagA protein. H. pylori activated myosin light-chain kinase in epithelial cells to phosphorylate myosin light chain and increase permeability by disrupting claudin-4 and claudin-5. The bacterial factor responsible for increasing epithelial permeability was heat sensitive, membrane bound, and required apical contact with monolayers. In conclusion, disruptions of the tight junctions observed in this study implicate host cell signaling pathways, including the phosphorylation of myosin light chain and the regulation of tight-junctional proteins claudin-4 and claudin-5, in the pathogenesis of H. pylori infection.
The effects of long-term infection with Helicobacter pylori on the gastric mucosa of Mongolian gerbils were examined. Colonization by H. pylori was evaluated by both microaerobic cultivation and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). Persistent infection with H. pylori in gastric mucosa was detected by real-time RT-PCR during 6 months after infection, but no H. pylori was isolated 4 months after infection by cultivation. Infiltration with neutrophils and mononuclear cells was observed from 2 months after infection. Both intestinal metaplasia and gastric atrophy were also detected from 2 months after infection. The results by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay indicated that antibody titers against whole H. pylori antigens, H. pylori heat shock protein 60 (HSP60), and Escherichia coli GroEL were significantly higher in the infected gerbils than in noninfected gerbils. After long-term infection with H. pylori for 18 months, marked atrophy of gastric mucosa and multiple cysts in the submucosa were observed in the glandular stomach of the infected gerbils. In addition, squamous cell papilloma with hyperkeratosis was observed in cardia of all the infected gerbils. These results indicate that evaluation of bacterial colonization during long-term infection can be done by real-time RT-PCR and that mucosal damage might be induced by host immune response against whole H. pylori antigen.
Infections with the human pathogen Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) can lead to severe gastric diseases ranging from chronic gastritis and ulceration to neoplastic changes in the stomach. Development and progress of H. pylori-associated disorders are determined by multifarious bacterial factors. Many of them interact directly with host cells or require specific receptors, while others enter the host cytoplasm to derail cellular functions. Several adhesins (e.g. BabA, SabA, AlpA/B, or OipA) establish close contact with the gastric epithelium as an important first step in persistent colonization. Soluble H. pylori factors (e.g. urease, VacA, or HtrA) have been suggested to alter cell survival and intercellular adhesions. Via a type IV secretion system (T4SS), H. pylori also translocates the effector cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) and peptidoglycan directly into the host cytoplasm, where cancer- and inflammation-associated signal transduction pathways can be deregulated. Through these manifold possibilities of interaction with host cells, H. pylori interferes with the complex signal transduction networks in its host and mediates a multi-step pathogenesis.
T helper (Th) cells play a major role in the immune response and pathology at the gastric mucosa during Helicobacter pylori infection. There is a limited mechanistic understanding regarding the contributions of CD4+ T cell subsets to gastritis development during H. pylori colonization. We used two computational approaches: ordinary differential equation (ODE)-based and agent-based modeling (ABM) to study the mechanisms underlying cellular immune responses to H. pylori and how CD4+ T cell subsets influenced initiation, progression and outcome of disease. To calibrate the model, in vivo experimentation was performed by infecting C57BL/6 mice intragastrically with H. pylori and assaying immune cell subsets in the stomach and gastric lymph nodes (GLN) on days 0, 7, 14, 30 and 60 post-infection. Our computational model reproduced the dynamics of effector and regulatory pathways in the gastric lamina propria (LP) in silico. Simulation results show the induction of a Th17 response and a dominant Th1 response, together with a regulatory response characterized by high levels of mucosal Treg) cells. We also investigated the potential role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) activation on the modulation of host responses to H. pylori by using loss-of-function approaches. Specifically, in silico results showed a predominance of Th1 and Th17 cells in the stomach of the cell-specific PPARγ knockout system when compared to the wild-type simulation. Spatio-temporal, object-oriented ABM approaches suggested similar dynamics in induction of host responses showing analogous T cell distributions to ODE modeling and facilitated tracking lesion formation. In addition, sensitivity analysis predicted a crucial contribution of Th1 and Th17 effector responses as mediators of histopathological changes in the gastric mucosa during chronic stages of infection, which were experimentally validated in mice. These integrated immunoinformatics approaches characterized the induction of mucosal effector and regulatory pathways controlled by PPARγ during H. pylori infection affecting disease outcomes.
Helicobacter pylori is the dominant species of the human gastric microbiome, and colonization causes a persistent inflammatory response. H. pylori-induced gastritis is the strongest singular risk factor for cancers of the stomach; however, only a small proportion of infected individuals develop malignancy. Carcinogenic risk is modified by strain-specific bacterial components, host responses and/or specific host–microbe interactions. Delineation of bacterial and host mediators that augment gastric cancer risk has profound ramifications for both physicians and biomedical researchers as such findings will not only focus the prevention approaches that target H. pylori-infected human populations at increased risk for stomach cancer but will also provide mechanistic insights into inflammatory carcinomas that develop beyond the gastric niche.
Although evidence is emerging that the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is declining in all age groups, the understanding of its disease spectrum continues to evolve. If untreated, H. pylori infection is lifelong. Although H. pylori typically colonizes the human stomach for many decades without adverse consequences, children infected with H. pylori can manifest gastrointestinal diseases. Controversy persists regarding testing (and treating) for H. pylori infection in children with recurrent abdominal pain, chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenia, and poor growth. There is evidence of the role of H. pylori in childhood iron deficiency anemia, but the results are not conclusive. The possibility of an inverse relationship between H. pylori and gastroesophageal reflux disease, as well as childhood asthma, remains a controversial question. A better understanding of the H. pylori disease spectrum in childhood should lead to clearer recommendations about testing for and treating H. pylori infection in children who are more likely to develop clinical sequelae.
Helicobacter pylori; Children; Gastrointestinal diseases; Epigastric pain; Anemia; Growth retardation; Chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic pupura
Helicobacter pylori can produce a persistent infection in the human stomach, where chronic and active inflammation, including the infiltration of phagocytes such as neutrophils and monocytes, is induced. H. pylori may have a defense system against the antimicrobial actions of phagocytes. We studied the defense mechanism of H. pylori against host-derived peroxynitrite (ONOO−), a bactericidal metabolite of nitric oxide, focusing on the role of H. pylori urease, which produces CO2 and NH3 from urea and is known to be an essential factor for colonization. The viability of H. pylori decreased in a time-dependent manner with continuous exposure to 1 μM ONOO−, i.e., 0.2% of the initial bacteria remained after a 5-min treatment without urea. The bactericidal action of ONOO− against H. pylori was significantly attenuated by the addition of 10 mM urea, the substrate for urease, whereas ONOO−-induced killing of a urease-deficient mutant of H. pylori or Campylobacter jejuni, another microaerophilic bacterium lacking urease, was not affected by the addition of urea. Such a protective effect of urea was potentiated by supplementation with exogenous urease, and it was almost completely nullified by 10 μM flurofamide, a specific inhibitor of urease. The bactericidal action of ONOO− was also suppressed by the addition of 20 mM NaHCO3 but not by the addition of 20 mM NH3. In addition, the nitration of l-tyrosine of H. pylori after treatment with ONOO− was significantly reduced by the addition of urea or NaHCO3, as assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. These results suggest that H. pylori-associated urease functions to produce a potent ONOO− scavenger, CO2/HCO3−, that defends the bacteria from ONOO− cytotoxicity. The protective effect of urease may thus facilitate sustained bacterial colonization in the infected gastric mucosa.
Helicobacter pylori is known to induce a local immune response, which is characterized by activation of lymphocytes and the production of IFN-γ in the stomach mucosa. Since not only T cells, but also natural killer (NK) cells, are potent producers of gamma interferon (IFN-γ), we investigated whether NK cells play a role in the immune response to H. pylori infection. Our results showed that NK cells were present in both the gastric and duodenal mucosae but that H. pylori infection did not affect the infiltration of NK cells into the gastrointestinal area. Furthermore, we could show that NK cells could be activated directly by H. pylori antigens, as H. pylori bacteria, as well as lysate from H. pylori, induced the secretion of IFN-γ by NK cells. NK cells were also activated without direct contact when separated from the bacteria by an epithelial cell layer, indicating that the activation of NK cells by H. pylori can also occur in vivo, in the infected stomach mucosa. Moreover, the production of IFN-γ by NK cells was greatly enhanced when a small amount of interleukin-12 (IL-12) was added, and this synergistic effect was associated with increased expression of the IL-12 receptor β2. It was further evident that bacterial lysate alone was sufficient to induce the activation of cytotoxicity-related molecules. In conclusion, we demonstrated that NK cells are present in the gastroduodenal mucosa of humans and that NK cells produce high levels of IFN-γ when stimulated with a combination of H. pylori antigen and IL-12. We propose that NK cells play an active role in the local immune response to H. pylori infection.