Immunoreactive-somatostatin (ir-somatostatin) concentrations of the gastric mucosa and gastric juice with Helicobacter pylori infection were measured in the human stomach. One hundred seventy-one patients (106 males, 65 females; mean age, 52.0; range, 19-84 years) were registered. Gastric juice and mucosa were obtained with the usual endoscopy procedure. Somatostatin concentration was measured by radioimmunoassay. The ir-somatostatin concentrations in the H. pylori-negative group were significantly higher than in the positive group gastric mucosa, whereas its levels in gastric juice tended to decrease with H. pylori infection. There was an inverse correlation between luminal ammonia levels and ir-somatostatin concentrations of the gastric mucosa. On the other hand, ir-somatostatin concentrations of the gastric mucosa significantly decreased with chronic and active inflammatory change. This decrease was not correlated with the grade of active inflammation, which was in close relation to H. pylori infection, but with the grade of chronic inflammation. These results indicate that H. pylori may reduce ir-somatostatin concentrations of the human stomach and that its effect is partly mediated via luminal ammonia produced by H. pylori.