Increased frequency of activated T-cells in the Helicobacter pylori-infected antrum and duodenum

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Abstract

Helicobacter pylori colonize the human stomach and duodenum. The infection has been shown to induce a strong T-cell response in the stomach, whereas the response within the duodenum has been poorly characterized. Furthermore, it remains to be elucidated whether the T-cell response may contribute to ulcer formation in the host. In this study, the frequency of different T-cell subsets, their degree of activation and expression of co-stimulatory receptors in biopsies from the duodenum as well as the antrum were studied by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. It was also evaluated whether there are differences in the T-cell responses between duodenal ulcer patients and asymptomatic carriers that might explain why only 10-15% of the infected subjects develop duodenal ulcers. The frequencies of CD4+, CD8+ and CD45RO+, i.e. memory T-cells, were significantly increased in the antrum, and the number of CD25+ cells was considerably higher in both the antrum and duodenum of duodenal ulcer patients and asymptomatic carriers as compared to uninfected individuals. Interestingly, the levels of immunosuppressive CTLA-4+ cells were significantly higher in the duodenum of duodenal ulcer patients, as compared to the asymptomatic carriers. H. pylori cause activation of T-cells in the duodenum as well as in the stomach. Our observation of higher levels of CTLA-4+ cells in the duodenum of duodenal ulcer patients than in the asymptomatic carriers suggests that a suppressive T-cell response may be related to the development of duodenal ulcers. © 2003 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Strömberg, E., Lundgren, A., Edebo, A., Lundin, S., Svennerholm, A. M., & Lindholm, C. (2003). Increased frequency of activated T-cells in the Helicobacter pylori-infected antrum and duodenum. In FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology (Vol. 36, pp. 159–168). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0928-8244(03)00026-9

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