Increased oxidative DNA damage and hepatocyte overexpression of specific cytochrome P450 isoforms in hepatitis of mice infected with Helicobacter hepaticus

Am J Pathol. 1997 Oct;151(4):933-41.


A recently discovered bacterium, Helicobacter hepaticus, infects the intrahepatic bile canaliculi of mice, causing a severe chronic hepatitis culminating in liver cancer. Thus, it affords an animal model for study of bacteria-associated tumorigenesis including H. pylori-related gastric cancer. Reactive oxygen species are often postulated to contribute to this process. We now report that hepatitis of male mice infected with H. hepaticus show significant increases in the oxidatively damaged DNA deoxynucleoside 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, with the degree of damage increasing with progression of the disease. Perfusion of infected livers with nitro blue tetrazolium revealed that superoxide was produced in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes, especially in association with plasmacytic infiltrates near portal triads. Contrary to expectations, Kupffer cells, macrophages, and neutrophils were rarely involved. However, levels of cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoforms 1A2 and 2A5 in hepatocytes appeared to be greatly increased, as indicated by the number of cells positive in immunohistochemistry and the intensity of staining in many cells, concomitant with severe hepatitis. The CYP2A5 immunohistochemical staining co-localized with formazan deposits resulting from nitro blue tetrazolium reduction and occurred in nuclei as well as cytoplasm. These findings suggest that CYP2A5 contributes to the superoxide production and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine formation, although reactive oxygen species from an unknown source in the hepatocytes leading to CYP2A5 induction or coincidental occurrence of these events are also possibilities. Three glutathione S-transferase isoforms, mGSTP1-1 (pi), mGSTA1-1 (YaYa), and mGSTA4-4, also showed striking increases evidencing major oxidative stress in these livers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Animals
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2A6
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System / metabolism*
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 2
  • DNA Damage*
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxyguanosine / metabolism
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Helicobacter / isolation & purification
  • Helicobacter Infections / enzymology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / genetics
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Hepatitis, Animal / enzymology*
  • Hepatitis, Animal / genetics
  • Hepatitis, Animal / pathology
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases / metabolism*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Superoxides
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • Mixed Function Oxygenases
  • Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylases
  • Cyp2a5 protein, mouse
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP2A6
  • Cytochrome P450 Family 2
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Deoxyguanosine