Infection with Helicobater pylori (H. pylori) is associated with various stomach diseases such as chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric carcinoma. In order to investigate the mechanisms of enhanced production of pepsinogen by H. pylori in cultured rat gastric cells that have the potential to produce pepsinogen, secretion and synthesis of pepsinogen in the cells exposed to H. pylori extract were determined by measuring the hydrolysis of hemoglobin. Various drugs were used to study the mechanisms of effects of H. pylori on the cells. Exposure of the gastric cells to H. pylori extract caused a significant increase in pepsinogen secretion into the culture medium within 30-180 min in a dose-dependent manner, accompanied by a significant increase in pepsinogen synthesis in the gastric cells after 60 min of incubation. Heat treatment of the H. pylori sonicate at 100 degrees C for 10 min completely abolished the stimulatory effect of H. pylori on pepsinogen secretion. 2',3'-Dideoxyadenosine (50 microM), a specific adenylate cyclase inhibitor, abolished the effect of H. pylori-induced pepsinogen secretion. Puromycin (10 microg/ml), a protein synthesis inhibitor, and nicorandil (0.1 mM), a specific intracellular calcium antagonist, reduced the H. pylori-induced pepsinogen secretion by 37% (p<0.01) and 25% (p<0.05), respectively. On the other hand, actinomycin D (1 microg/ml), an RNA synthesis inhibitor, did not affect the H. pylori-induced pepsinogen secretion. Consequently, dibutyryl cAMP potentially stimulated the pepsinogen secretion from gastric epithelial cells in a dose-dependent manner. H. pylori induces pepsinogen secretion and synthesis by gastric epithelial cells through an increase in the intracellular cAMP and mobilization of the intracellular calcium. In addition, H. pylori affects pepsinogen synthesis at the translational level.
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