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Infect Immun. 2001 Nov;69(11):6749-54.

Analysis of cytokines in the early development of gastric secondary lymphoid follicles in Helicobacter pylori-infected BALB/c mice with neonatal thymectomy.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Endoscopic Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.


Immunological interaction between the host and Helicobacter pylori seems to play a critical role in follicular formation in gastric mucosa. We reported H. pylori-induced follicular gastritis model using neonatally thymectomized mice. In this study, we investigated the involvement of various cytokines in this model. BALB/c mice were thymectomized on the third day after birth (nTx). At 6 weeks old, these mice were orally infected with H. pylori. Histological studies showed that follicular formation occurred from 8 weeks after the infection and that most of the infiltrating lymphocytes were CD4(+) and B cells. Neutrophils increased transiently at 1 week after the infection. Gamma interferon, interleukin-7 (IL-7), and IL-7 receptor were expressed in the stomach of the nTx mice irrespective of the infection. In contrast, expressions of the tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-4 and lymphotoxin-alpha genes were remarkably upregulated by the infection. Our findings suggest that follicular formation may require cooperative involvement of a Th2-type immune response, tumor necrosis factor alpha and lymphotoxin-alpha in addition to the Th1-type immune response in H. pylori-induced gastritis in nTx mice.

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