Helicobacter pylori. Its role in the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease in a new animal model

Am J Pathol. 1992 Sep;141(3):721-7.


The association and causative role of Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach with gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, non-ulcer dyspepsia, and gastritis has remained controversial. The authors studied the effects of daily intragastric administration of H. pylori suspension in saline (10(8) CFU/ml) and bacteria-free filtrates of saline H. pylori suspensions in 85 Sprague-Dawley rats (weight, 150 to 200 g) with normal mucosa and with surgically produced experimental gastric ulcers. Group I rats (n = 30) with pre-existent experimental gastric ulcers received H. pylori suspension (ATCC 43504, 10(8) CFU/ml); Group II rats (n = 20) with experimental gastric ulcers received bacteria-free H. pylori filtrates; Group III rats with ulcers (n = 20) received saline alone; and Group IV control rats (n = 15) without ulcers received intact H. pylori organisms in suspension (ATCC 43504, 10(8) CFU/ml). At death, ulcer surface areas were measured with a dissecting microscope. Full-thickness sections were obtained for quantitative and qualitative histologic parameters, including the area of remaining mucosal necrosis; characteristics and cellular composition of restored mucosal architectures; and presence or absence of inflammation including counts of neutrophils and lymphocytes. H. pylori organisms were identified within the surface mucus and crypts using routine, special, and immunohistochemical stains. Our results indicate that the continued presence of either intact H. pylori organisms or bacteria-free H. pylori filtrates in the stomachs of rats with pre-existent gastric ulcers resulted in delayed healing of the ulcers and persistence of chronic active inflammation. Daily administration of suspensions of H. pylori organisms to sham-operated rats with intact gastric mucosa, however, resulted in no ulceration or inflammation despite identification of surface H. pylori organisms at death. The authors conclude that H. pylori alone causes little or no effect on an intact gastric mucosa in the rat, that either intact organisms or bacteria-free filtrates cause similar prolongation and delayed healing of pre-existing ulcers with active chronic inflammation, and that the presence of predisposing factors leading to disruption of gastric mucosal integrity may be required for the H. pylori enhancement of inflammation and tissue damage in the stomach.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Gastric Mucosa / physiopathology
  • Gastritis / pathology
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification
  • Helicobacter pylori / physiology*
  • Male
  • Peptic Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Peptic Ulcer / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Stomach / microbiology
  • Stomach / pathology