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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Jan;13(1):95-103.

Gastrin release and gastric acid secretion in the rat infected with either Helicobacter felis or Helicobacter heilmannii.

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School of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Helicobacter pylori infection in humans has been shown to be associated with changes in gastric physiology, including exaggerated basal and meal-stimulated gastrin levels. This has been suggested to be due to the direct effects of the bacterium through inflammation and its urease enzyme. The gastric bacteria Helicobacter felis and Helicobacter heilmannii colonize the antrum of rats in large numbers and induce no significant inflammatory response. Thus, the direct effect of Helicobacter infection on gastric physiology, independent of gastritis, could be studied. Basal, freely fed and stimulated acid and gastrin levels were recorded from animals infected with H. felis, H. heilmannii or uninfected controls over a 30 week period. No significant difference was found between freely fed gastrin over 7 weeks or fasting gastrin over 24 weeks or basal and stimulated acid over 30 weeks between all three groups. Triple therapy did not alter gastrin or acid output. The antrum of all Helicobacter-infected rats was well colonized; triple therapy cleared H. felis but not H. heilmannii. Very little inflammation was seen in control or Helicobacter-infected animals. In conclusion, Helicobacter-induced effects on gastric physiology are unlikely to be due to direct bacterial effects, but are best explained by other factors (i.e. inflammatory damage).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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