The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the densities of antral gastrin and somatostatin-immunoreactive cells in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection were related to the bacterial expression of cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA). 32 patients who had underwent diagnostic esophagogastroduodenoscopy were studied. On the histologic examination all patients had antral gastritis. We divided the subjects into three groups. Group I consisted of 6 patients who had chronic superficial gastritis, group II, 9 patients who had H. pylori-associated gastritis but with no expression of CagA, and group III, 17 patients who had H. pylori-associated gastritis with the expression of CagA. In group I and II, serum gastrin levels, and antral G cell and D-cell were measured. In group III, serum gastrin levels, and antral G cell and D-cell were measured, before and after the eradication of H. pylori. The results were as follows. Firstly, serum gastrin concentrations were significantly higher in the patients with H. pylori infection than in the negative controls. Nextly, there was no correlation between the changes in antral G or D-cell density and H. pylori infection. Thirdly, group III had a significant increase in serum gastrin concentrations and a significant decrease in antral D-cell density than group I. Forthly, eradication of H. pylori in group III showed a significantly increased antral D-cell density. Our results suggest that hypergastrinemia in H. pylori-associated gastritis is relevant to the presence of CagA, and the possible mechanism of hypergastrinemia may be related to antral D-cell deficiency, which is caused by H. pylori infection with the expression of CagA.
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