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Low concentrations of zinc in gastric mucosa are associated with increased severity of Helicobacter pylori-induced inflammation.

Sempértegui F, et al. Helicobacter. 2007.


BACKGROUND: Chronic Helicobacter pylori infection is the most common cause of gastric cancer. H. pylori induces oxidative stress while zinc deficiency results in increased sensitivity to it. In Ecuador, the prevalence of gastric cancer and zinc deficiency are high. We hypothesized that zinc deficiency in Ecuadorian people would cause increased H. pylori-induced inflammation in the gastric mucosa associated with lower tissue zinc concentrations.

METHODS: Three hundred and fifty-two patients with dyspepsia underwent endoscopy to obtain gastric mucosa biopsies. Diagnosis of H. pylori infection and its severity, histopathology, mucosal zinc concentration, and inflammation intensity were determined.

RESULTS: H. pylori-infected patients with non-atrophic chronic gastritis had lower concentrations of zinc in gastric mucosa than uninfected patients with the same type of gastritis (251.3 +/- 225.3 vs. 426.2 +/- 279.9 ng/mg of protein; p = .016). Considering all patients, the more severe the H. pylori infection, the higher the percentage of subjects with infiltration by polymorphonuclear (PMN) cells (p = .0001). Patients with high PMN infiltration had lower mucosal zinc concentrations than patients with low PMN infiltration (35.2 +/- 20.7 vs. 242.9 +/- 191.8 ng/mg of protein; p = .021).

CONCLUSIONS: The degree of inflammation in H. pylori-induced gastritis appears to be modulated by gastric tissue zinc concentrations.


17241300 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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