Expression of p53 was examined immunohistochemically in the Japanese monkey model with Helicobacter pylori infection of the gastric mucosa to investigate the association between H. pylori infection and gastric carcinogenesis for a period of 4 years. In the course of these observations, from 3 years after H. pylori inoculation, nuclear staining for p53 was seen in the glandular cells of the mucosa infected with H. pylori, especially in the neck region of the glands. There was a gradual increase in the number of immunopositive cases among the infected animals. Three years after inoculation, three out of six cases, and 4 years after inoculation, four out of six cases exhibited positive staining for p53. Before inoculation, and up to 2 years after inoculation, the infected group showed no immunoreaction for p53. The non-infected group likewise displayed no immunostaining for p53 through 4 years of observation. These results suggest that p53 alterations occur in the H. pylori-infected gastric mucosa and that H. pylori infection may play an important role in gastric carcinogenesis.