Helicobacter pylori (HP) has been shown to possibly be a pathogen of gastric carcinoma. HP has urease activity and produces ammonia in the stomach. In this study, the role of ammonia on gastric carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) were investigated in rats. After 24 weeks pretreatment with MNNG (83 mg/l), 0.01% ammonia or tap water as a drinking water was administered for 24 weeks. The ammonia-treated rats showed a significantly higher incidence of gastric cancer (percent of animals with tumors and number of tumors per rat). Ammonia would thus appear to have an important role in HP-related human gastric carcinogenesis.