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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2013 Apr 15;304(8):G715-22. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00187.2012. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

H. pylori acutely inhibits gastric secretion by activating CGRP sensory neurons coupled to stimulation of somatostatin and inhibition of histamine secretion.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA, USA.


Acute Helicobacter pylori infection produces hypochlorhydria. The decrease in acid facilitates survival of the bacterium and its colonization of the stomach. The present study was designed to identify the pathways in oxyntic mucosa by which acute H. pylori infection inhibits acid secretion. In rat fundic sheets in an Ussing chamber, perfusion of the luminal surface with H. pylori in spent broth (10(3)-10(8) cfu/ml) or spent broth alone (1:10(5) to 1:10(0) final dilution) caused a concentration-dependent increase in somatostatin (SST; maximal: 200 ± 20 and 194 ± 9% above basal; P < 0.001) and decrease in histamine secretion (maximal: 45 ± 5 and 48 ± 2% below basal; P < 0.001); the latter was abolished by SST antibody, implying that changes in histamine secretion reflected changes in SST secretion. Both responses were abolished by the axonal blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX), the sensory neurotoxin capsaicin, or the CGRP antagonist CGRP8-37, implying that the reciprocal changes in SST and histamine secretion were due to release of CGRP from sensory neurons. In isolated rabbit oxyntic glands, H. pylori inhibited basal and histamine-stimulated acid secretion in a concentration-dependent manner; the responses were not affected by TTX or SST antibody, implying that H. pylori can directly inhibit parietal cell function. In conclusion, acute administration of H. pylori is capable of inhibiting acid secretion directly as well as indirectly by activating intramural CGRP sensory neurons coupled to stimulation of SST and inhibition of histamine secretion. Activation of neural pathways provides one explanation as to how initial patchy colonization of the superficial gastric mucosa by H. pylori can acutely inhibit acid secretion.

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