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Dig Dis Sci. 1999 Jan;44(1):108-15.

Attenuation of hydrophobic phospholipid barrier is an early event in Helicobacter felis-induced gastritis in mice.

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Department of Integrative Biology, Pharmacology & Physiology, The University of Texas Medical School, Houston 77030, USA.


Helicobacter pylori infection has been linked to the development of gastritis which can then progress to a number of disease entities including peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Since the pathogenic mechanism by which the bacteria causes gastritis is unresolved, we employed a model system, the H. felis-infected mouse to investigate the temporal relationship between bacterially-induced alterations in the hydrophobic phospholipid barrier of the stomach and the development of gastritis. In the present study, C57BL/6 mice were inoculated with 10(9) CFU of H. felis and the changes in gastric wet weight, histology, surface hydrophobicity, phospholipid/phosphatidylcholine concentration, phospholipase A2 activity, and the pH of collected gastric juice were measured 0.5-2 months postinoculation. In related experiments, we investigated the effects of treating H. felis infected mice with antibiotic/ bismuth therapy on the above gastric properties. It was determined that both gastric surface hydrophobicity and phospholipid composition were significantly attenuated as early as 2-4 weeks postinfection, preceding signs of mucosal inflammation and glandular atrophy as indicated by increases in gastric wet weight, pH and a disappearance in parietal cells. These early H. felis-induced changes in gastric surface hydrophobicity and phospholipid concentration were reversed by antibiotic/bismuth therapy. Based on these results we conclude that H. felis infection induces an early transformation of the stomach from a hydrophobic to an acid-sensitive hydrophilic state that may trigger the subsequent development of gastritis.

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