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J Clin Pathol. 1998 Oct;51(10):765-70.

Chemokine mRNA expression in gastric mucosa is associated with Helicobacter pylori cagA positivity and severity of gastritis.

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  • 1Molecular Medicine Unit, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK.



To investigate the association between the quantity of gastric chemokine mRNA expression, severity of gastritis, and cagA positivity in Helicobacter pylori associated gastritis.


In 83 dyspeptic patients, antral and corpus biopsies were taken for semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and histological grading of gastritis. Gastritis was evaluated by visual analogue scales. Quantities of chemokine (IL-8, GRO alpha, ENA-78, RANTES, MCP-1) RT-PCR products were compared with G3PDH products. Each sample was also evaluated for the presence of cagA and ureA mRNA by RT-PCR.


mRNA expression of all five chemokines was significantly greater in H pylori positive than in H pylori negative mucosa. In H pylori positive patients, in the antrum C-X-C chemokine mRNA expression was significantly greater in cagA positive patients than in cagA negative patients, but there were no significant differences in C-C chemokine mRNA expression. In H pylori positive patients, chemokine mRNA expression in the corpus was less than in the antrum. In contrast to the antrum, only GRO alpha mRNA expression was significantly greater in cagA positive infection. Polymorphonuclear cell infiltration was correlated with C-X-C chemokine mRNA expression. Significant correlations were also found between bacterial density and C-X-C chemokine mRNA expression.


In H pylori infection, C-X-C chemokines may play a primary role in active gastritis. Infection with cagA positive H pylori induces greater gastric chemokine mRNA expression in the antral mucosa, which may be relevant to the increased mucosal damage associated with cagA positive H pylori infection.

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