Helicobacter pylori infection associates with a mucosal downregulation of Ghrelin, negative regulator of Th1-cell responses

Omero Alessandro Paoluzi, Giovanna Del Vecchio Blanco, Roberta Caruso, Ivan Monteleone, Flavio Caprioli, Manfredi Tesauro, Mario Turriziani, Giovanni Monteleone, Francesco Pallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Helicobacter pylori (Hp)-related gastritis is characterized by a predominant T helper (Th)1/Th17 cell immunity. Ghrelin (GR) has immunoregulatory properties and inhibits experimental Th cell-dependent pathology. Aims: To evaluate whether Hp infection associates with changes in GR expression and whether GR negatively regulates Th1/Th17 cytokines during Hp infection. Methods: GR expression was evaluated by real-time PCR in gastric biopsies taken from Hp-infected and Hp-uninfected patients and in gastric biopsies of Hp-negative subjects cultured with or without H. pylori culture supernatant. To examine whether GR regulates Hp-induced cytokine production, H. pylori-infected gastric biopsies were stimulated with GR, and interleukin (IL)-12, interferon (IFN)-γ and IL-4 transcripts were evaluated by real-time PCR. IL-12 and IFN-γ were also analyzed in lamina propria mononuclear cells (LPMCs) extracted from Hp-infected gastric biopsies and cultured with GR. Results: GR RNA transcripts were reduced in biopsies from Hp-infected patients. Treatment of Hp-negative gastric biopsies with Hp culture supernatant reduced GR RNA expression. GR dose-dependently inhibited RNA expression of IL-12 and IFN-γ but not IL-4 in ex vivo cultures of mucosal explants and in cultures of gastric LPMCs from Hp-positive patients. Conclusions: GR is downregulated in the gastric mucosa of H. pylori-infected patients. Such a defect could contribute to sustain the ongoing Th1-cell response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Gastritis
  • Ghrelin
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Th1 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Infectious Diseases


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