Helicobacter Infection Plays Role in Stomach Cancer

Mouse study finds cancer develops at different stomach sites depending on gastrin levels

MONDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- The effects of Helicobacter felis infection on the expression of the hormone gastrin can lead to the development of cancer in mice, with tumors developing at different sites in the stomach depending on the mouse's native gastrin level, according to a study reported in the July issue of the American Journal of Pathology.

Shigeo Takaishi, M.D., of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted their experiment in mice with a uniform C57BL/6 genetic background housed in pathogen-free conditions. The mice, including those that were inherently gastrin-deficient and those that produced excess gastrin, were infected with Helicobacter felis bacteria and their stomach tissue examined at 12 and 18 months.

The researchers found that infected mice with naturally high levels of gastrin developed cancer of the gastric corpus when gastrin level was increased by the Helicobacter felis infection, while the gastrin-deficient mice developed cancer in the gastric antrum.

"These results demonstrate gastrin has a distinct effect on the gastric corpus and antrum in the setting of chronic gastric Helicobacter infection. While gastrin is possibly an essential cofactor for gastric corpus carcinogenesis, gastrin deficiency can predispose animals to antral tumorigenesis, and thus any imbalances in gastrin physiology may represent a risk for gastric transformation," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing