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Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Aug 1;33(3):323-36.

Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in Helicobacter pylori-induced inflammation and oxidative stress.

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First Department of Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan.


Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-infection leads to different clinical and pathological outcomes in humans, including chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric neoplasia. The key determinants of these outcomes are the severity and distribution of the H. pylori-induced inflammation. Antral-type gastritis is associated with excessive acid secretion and a high risk of duodenal ulcer. In contrast, gastritis that involves the acid-secreting corpus region leads to hypochlorhydria, progressive gastric atrophy, and an increased risk of gastric cancer. The key pathophysiological event in H. pylori infection is initiation and continuance of an inflammatory response. Bacteria or their products trigger this inflammatory process and the main mediators are cytokines. Identification of both host- and bacterial-factors that mediate is an intense area of interest in current researches. Recent data indicates that the cag pathogenicity island plays a crucial role in H. pylori-induced gastric inflammation via the activation of gene transcription. It has been demonstrated that oxidative and nitrosative stress associated with inflammation plays an important role in gastric carcinogenesis as a mediator of carcinogenic compound formation, DNA damage, and cell proliferation. Genetic information regulating such stress would be one of the host factors determining the outcome--particularly when the outcome is gastric cancer--of H. pylori infection, and the compound that attenuates such stress may be a candidate for use in chemoprevention. This review highlights recent advances in understanding of the mechanisms underlying chronic inflammation following infection with H. pylori.

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