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BMC Gastroenterol. 2002 Apr 5;2:7.

Effect of interlukin-1beta on proliferation of gastric epithelial cells in culture.

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Department of Cell Biology School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom.



Helicobacter pylori is the main risk factor for the development of non-cardia gastric cancer. Increased proliferation of the gastric mucosa is a feature of H. pylori infection. Mucosal interkeukin-1beta production is increased in H. pylori infection and IL-1beta genotypes associated with increased pro-inflammatory activity are risk factors for the development of gastric cancer. The effect of IL-1beta on gastric epithelial cell proliferation has been examined in this study.


AGS cells were cultured with IL-1beta. DNA synthesis was assed by [3H]thymidine incorporation and total viable cell numbers by MTT assay.


IL-1beta dose dependently increased DNA synthesis and cell numbers. The enhanced proliferation was blocked by interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. Addition of neutralising antibody to GM-CSF reduced IL-1beta-stimulated proliferation by 31 +/- 4 %. GM-CSF alone significantly stimulated proliferation. Addition or neutralisation of IL-8 had no effect on basal or IL-1beta-stimulated proliferation. The tyrosine kinase inhibitor genistein completely blocked IL-1beta-stimulated proliferation and inhibition of the extracellular signal related kinase pathway with PD 98059 inhibited IL-1beta stimulated proliferation by 58 +/- 5 %.


IL-1beta stimulates proliferation in gastric epithelial cells. Autocrine stimulation by GM-CSF contributes to this proliferative response. Signalling via tyrosine kinase activity is essential to the mitogenic response to IL-1beta. The extracellular signal related kinase pathway is involved in, but not essential to downstream signalling. IL-1beta may contribute to the hyperproliferation seen in H. pylori- infected gastric mucosa, and be involved in the carcinogenic process.

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