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BMC Gastroenterol. 2011 May 26;11:63. doi: 10.1186/1471-230X-11-63.

Mucosal Progranulin expression is induced by H. pylori, but independent of Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor (SLPI) expression.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, Otto-von-Guericke University, Leipziger Str, 44, Magdeburg, D-39120, Germany.



Mucosal levels of Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor (SLPI) are specifically reduced in relation to H. pylori-induced gastritis. Progranulin is an epithelial growth factor that is proteolytically degraded into fragments by elastase (the main target of SLPI). Considering the role of SLPI for regulating the activity of elastase, we studied whether the H. pylori-induced reduction of SLPI and the resulting increase of elastase-derived activity would reduce the Progranulin protein levels both ex vivo and in vitro.


The expression of Progranulin was studied in biopsies of H. pylori-positive, -negative and -eradicated subjects as well as in the gastric tumor cell line AGS by ELISA, immunohistochemistry and real-time RT-PCR.


H. pylori-infected subjects had about 2-fold increased antral Progranulin expression compared to H. pylori-negative and -eradicated subjects (P < 0.05). Overall, no correlations between mucosal Progranulin and SLPI levels were identified. Immunohistochemical analysis confirmed the upregulation of Progranulin in relation to H. pylori infection; both epithelial and infiltrating immune cells contributed to the higher Progranulin expression levels. The H. pylori-induced upregulation of Progranulin was verified in AGS cells infected by H. pylori. The down-regulation of endogenous SLPI expression in AGS cells by siRNA methodology did not affect the Progranulin expression independent of the infection by H. pylori.


Taken together, Progranulin was identified as novel molecule that is upregulated in context to H. pylori infection. In contrast to other diseases, SLPI seems not to have a regulatory role for Progranulin in H. pylori-mediated gastritis.

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