NADPH oxidase produces a large amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-induced gastric epithelial cells. Even though ROS mediate apoptotic cell death, direct involvement of NADPH oxidase on H. pylori-induced apoptosis remains unclear. Besides, H. pylori isolates show a high degree of genetic variability. The predominant genotype of H. pylori in Korea has been reported as cagA+, vacA s1b, m2, iceA genotype. Present study aims to investigate whether NADPH oxidase-generated ROS mediate apoptosis in human gastric epithelial AGS cells infected with H. pylori in a Korean isolate. AGS cells were pretreated with or without an NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) and cultured in the presence of H. pylori at a bacterium/cell ratio of 300:1. Cell viability, hydrogen peroxide level, DNA fragmentation, and protein levels of p53, Bcl-2, and Bax were determined. Results showed that H. pylori inhibited cell viability with the density of H. pylori added to the cells. Inhibition of NADPH oxidase by DPI suppressed H. pylori-induced cell death, increased hydrogen peroxide, DNA fragmentation, and the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2, and p53 induction in AGS cells dose-dependently. The results suggest that targeting NADPH oxidase may prevent the development of gastric inflammation associated with H. pylori infection by suppressing abnormal apoptotic cell death of gastric epithelial cells.
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