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Eur J Immunol. 1997 Jul;27(7):1751-5.

Different cytokine profile and antigen-specificity repertoire in Helicobacter pylori-specific T cell clones from the antrum of chronic gastritis patients with or without peptic ulcer.

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Institute of Internal Medicine and Immunoallergology, University of Florence, Italy.


Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection almost invariably results in chronic antral gastritis, but only a proportion of patients develop peptic ulcer. Some Hp strains may be more ulcerogenic than others, but some ulcerogenic mechanisms may also depend on the type of the host immune response. In this study, the antigen specificity and the cytokine profile of 53 Hp-specific CD4+ T cell clones derived from the antral mucosa of five patients with Hp-induced uncomplicated chronic gastritis (CG) were assessed and compared with those of 34 Hp-specific CD4+ T cell clones derived from six Hp-infected patients with chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer (CG-PU). The majority (28/34; 82%) of gastric Hp-specific T cell clones from CG-PU patients expressed the Th1 profile and 17 (all Th1) of the 34 clones were specific for cytotoxin-associated protein (CagA). In contrast, 34 (64%) of the 53 Hp-specific gastric T cell clones derived from CG patients were able to secrete both Th1 and Th2 cytokines (Th0 profile) and only 36% expressed a polarized Th1 profile. The majority (85%) of Hp-specific clones from CG patients recognized Hp antigens other than CagA, since 13/53 (25%) were specific for urease, 6 (11%) for VacA, 6 (11%) for HSP and 20 (38%) for other undefined Hp antigens. Results provide evidence that the type of T helper cell response against Hp may vary according to the antigen involved and suggest that a polarized Th1 response may play a role in the genesis of peptic ulcer, whereas a local Th0 response, including interleukin-4 production, may represent an individual host factor which contributes to lower the degree of gastric inflammation and prevent ulcer complication.

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