Background: Gastric cancer arises, mainly, on an inflammatory background. Helicobacter pylori neutrophil activating (HP-NAP) protein functions as a potent pro-inflammatory mediator. Similarly, IL-4 plays a critical role in the inflammation pathway, the levels of which are altered by C to T transition at position -590 in its promoter region. Here, we have aimed to assess the risk of gastritis and gastric cancer in the co-presence of these two inflammation modulating mediators.
Methods: Gastritis (n=58) and gastric cancer (n=31) patients were evaluated and compared with H. pylori-positive asymptomatic controls (n=46), for serum antibodies against recombinant HP-NAP and IL-4 C-590T single nucleotide polymorphism using immunoblotting and PCR-RFLP, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity, was used for data analysis.
Results: In terms of susceptibility to gastritis, seropositivity to HP-NAP projected a risk impact of 4.62 fold (OR=4.62, 95% CI=1.50-14.22), which when present in IL-4 -590 T carriers augmented the risk up to 9.7 fold (OR=9.70, 95% CI=2.06-45.69). A similar pattern, but of a stronger magnitude, occurred for the risk of gastric cancer, which was estimated at 9.07 fold (OR=9.07, 95% CI=1.99-42.0) for HP-NAP-seropositive subjects and was drastically amplified (OR=33.64, 95% CI=2.06-548.68), when double-positive (HP-NAP seropositive/IL-4 -590 T carrier) subjects were examined against double negatives (HP-NAP seronegative/IL-4 -590 CC).
Conclusion: Our preliminary data indicate that serum antibodies against HP-NAP represent a state of risk, which is further exacerbated in IL-4 -590 T carriers. These biomarkers, if validated in larger prospective studies, can be used to screen for gastric cancer susceptibility.