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Infect Immun. 2004 Aug;72(8):4416-23.

Induction of maturation and cytokine release of human dendritic cells by Helicobacter pylori.

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  • 1Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, University of Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss-Allee 11, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.


Helicobacter pylori causes a persistent infection in the human stomach, which can result in chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. Despite an intensive proinflammatory response, the immune system is not able to clear the organism. However, the immune escape mechanisms of this common bacterium are not well understood. We investigated the interaction between H. pylori and human dendritic cells. Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent antigen-presenting cells and important mediators between the innate and acquired immune system. Stimulation of DCs with different concentrations of H. pylori for 8, 24, 48, and 72 h resulted in dose-dependent interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-10 and IL-12 production. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli, a known DC maturation agent, was used as a positive control. The cytokine release after stimulation with LPS was comparable to that induced by H. pylori except for IL-12. After LPS stimulation IL-12 was only moderately released compared to the large amounts of IL-12 induced by H. pylori. We further investigated the potential of H. pylori to induce maturation of DCs. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis of cell surface expression of maturation marker molecules such as CD80, CD83, CD86, and HLA-DR revealed equal upregulation after stimulation with H. pylori or LPS. We found no significant differences between H. pylori seropositive and seronegative donors of DCs with regard to cytokine release and upregulation of surface molecules. These data clearly demonstrate that H. pylori induces a strong activation and maturation of human immature DCs.

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