Gastric mucosal cytokine responses in Helicobacter pylori-infected patients with gastritis and peptic ulcers. Association with inflammatory parameters and bacteria load


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Helicobacter pylori is an important pathogen in gastroduodenal inflammation and ulceration. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain its role. We studied the cytokine production patterns in situ in gastric mucosal biopsies from H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative patients with dyspepsia. Immunohistochemistry with monoclonal antibodies was used. The study showed enhanced expression of interleukin (IL) -8, IL-10 and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) in H. pylori infection and a significant association was found between these cytokines and the following parameters: bacteria load, chronic inflammation and activity. These parameters were significantly correlated with the cell markers CD19 and CD56. The study indicates a dual effect of H. pylori on the Th1 response, i.e. a stimulation of the response verified by increased IFN-γ and a feed-back verified by an increase of the counterinflammatory IL-10, which may dampen the inflammatory and cytotoxic effect of the Th1 response. Furthermore, the study confirms the connection between increase of IL-8 and inflammatory activity in gastric mucosa in H. pylori infection.