Helicobacter pylori has stimulatory effects on naive T cells

A M Malfitano, R Cahill, P Mitchell, G Frankel, G Dougan, M Bifulco, G Lombardi, R I Lechler, K B Bamford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Despite an apparently active host response, Helicobacter pylori infection can persist for life. Unexpectedly, T cells from apparently uninfected individuals respond to H. pylori antigen by proliferating. Also, the T-cell proliferative response appears to be less in infected compared with uninfected individuals. Materials and Methods: We have investigated the T-cell response of isolated human peripheral blood, naive, and memory CD4(+) T cells to H. pylori antigen in infected and uninfected subjects. Results: In agreement with previous findings, the peripheral blood proliferative response was higher in uninfected compared with infected subjects. Interestingly, there was a response in CD4(+)CD45RO(+) (memory) and CD4(+)CD45RA(+) (naive) subsets. The RO/RA ratio of the response to H. pylori antigen was 0.8-2.1 in both H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative subjects, which was similar to that of a known superantigen (2.5 and 2.2 in Helicobacter-positive and -negative subjects, respectively) whereas the RO/RA response ratio to a recall antigen (tetanus toxoid) was 9.8 and 18.7 in Helicobacter-positive and -negative subjects, respectively. Mononuclear cells isolated from cord blood also responded to H. pylori antigen, whereas there was no response to tetanus toxoid. The cord blood response and CD4(+)CD45RA(+) cell response to H. pylori antigen were inhibited predominantly by anti-HLA-DR and to some extent by anti-HLA-DQ antibodies. Investigation of the response to five different recombinant H. pylori antigens identified two that produced a response in naive T cells. Conclusions: These data suggest that H. pylori possesses molecules that cause higher than expected proliferation of naive T cells
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21 - 30
    Number of pages10
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006


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