Role of Helicobacter pylori in gastric carcinogenesis: the origin of gastric cancers and heterotopic proliferative glands in Mongolian gerbils

Helicobacter. 2005 Apr;10(2):97-106. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2005.00305.x.


Helicobacter pylori infection is well accepted to be a very important factor for the development of gastric carcinogenesis in the human stomach. In Mongolian gerbils treated with chemical carcinogens, H. pylori infection enhances glandular stomach carcinogenesis, and eradication of infection and results in curtailment of enhancing effects, particularly at early stages of associated inflammation. A high-salt diet exacerbates the effects of H. pylori infection on gastric carcinogenesis, and these two factors act synergistically to promote the development of gastric cancers in this animal model. However, the bacterium exerts the greater effects. Early acquisition significantly increases gastric chemical carcinogenesis in Mongolian gerbils, as compared to later infection. While heterotopic proliferative glands, hyperplastic and dilated glands localized beneath the muscularis mucosae, frequently develop with H. pylori infection alone in this animal model, they obviously regress on eradication, suggesting a relation to severe gastritis, rather than a malignant character. Furthermore, endocrine cells, positive for chromogranin A, are observed in the heterotopic proliferative glands, in contrast to cancerous lesions which lack endocrine elements. In conclusion, H. pylori is not an initiator, but rather a strong promoter of gastric carcinogenesis, whose eradication, together with reduction in salt intake, might effectively prevent gastric cancer development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cocarcinogenesis*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gerbillinae
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Methylnitrosourea
  • Precancerous Conditions / etiology*
  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary / adverse effects
  • Stem Cells / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology


  • Sodium Chloride, Dietary
  • Methylnitronitrosoguanidine
  • Methylnitrosourea