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Clin Dev Immunol. 2009;2009:850623. doi: 10.1155/2009/850623. Epub 2009 Jul 14.

Immune reactions against elongation factor 2 kinase: specific pathogenesis of gastric ulcer from Helicobacter pylori infection.

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Department of Bacteriology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan.


Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is a definite causative factor for gastric ulcers (GUs). In the present study we detected a specific antigen of gastric epithelial cells (HGC-27) using cell ELISA, which was recognized by the sera of GU patients (n = 20) but not in patients with chronic gastritis (CG; n = 20) or in healthy volunteers (HC; n = 10). This antigen was over-expressed by a stressful (heat-stressed) environment, and was identified as elongation factor 2 kinase (EF-2K) by western blotting. The GU patients' lymphocytes stimulated by H. pylori specifically disrupted heat-stressed HGC-27 cells in a cytotoxic assay. In flow cytometry, the effector cells (lymphocytes) from GU patients were significantly differentiated to T helper type 1 lymphocyte (Th1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) as opposed to those from CG patients. The target cells (HGC-27) expressed EF-2K and MHC-class I together with costimulatory molecules from heat stress. This antigen specific immune mechanism could have a prominent role in the pathogenesis of GU.

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