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Th1 and Th17 responses to Helicobacter pylori in Bangladeshi infants, children and adults

Journal article
Authors Taufiqur Rahman Bhuiyan
M. M. T. Islam
T. Uddin
M. I. Chowdhury
Anders Janzon
Jenni Adamsson
Samuel B Lundin
F. Qadri
Anna Lundgren
Published in PLoS ONE
Volume 9
Issue 4
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Language en
Keywords gamma interferon, interleukin 17, interleukin 1beta, messenger RNA, adult, aged, article, bacterial immunity, bacterial membrane, Bangladesh, CD4+ T lymphocyte, child, controlled study, cytokine production, cytokine response, female, gene expression, Helicobacter infection, Helicobacter pylori, human, human cell, human tissue, infant, major clinical study, male, monocyte, nonhuman, peripheral blood mononuclear cell, stomach biopsy, stomach mucosa, Sweden, Th1 cell, Th17 cell, immunology, metabolism, middle aged, pathology, preschool child, very elderly, young adult, Aged, 80 and over, Child, Preschool, Helicobacter Infections, Humans, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-17, Th1 Cells, Th17 Cells
Subject categories Immunology in the medical area, Bacteriology


Both Th1 and Th17 cells are important components of the immune response to Helicobacter pylori (Hp) in adults, but less is known about T cell responses to Hp during early childhood, when the infection is often acquired. We investigated Th1 and Th17 type responses to Hp in adults, children and infants in Bangladesh, where Hp is highly endemic. IL-17 and IFN-γ mRNA levels in gastric biopsies from Hp-infected Bangladeshi adults were analyzed and compared to levels in infected and uninfected Swedish controls. Since biopsies could not be collected from infants and children, cytokine responses in Bangladeshi infants (6-12 months), children (3-5 years) and adults (>19 years) were instead compared by stimulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with a Hp membrane preparation (MP) and analyzing culture supernatants by ELISA and cytometric bead array. We found significantly higher expression of IL-17 and IFN-γ mRNA in gastric mucosa of Hpinfected Bangladeshi and Swedish adults compared to uninfected Swedish controls. PBMCs from all age groups produced IL-17 and IFN-γ after MP stimulation, but little Th2 cytokines. IL-17 and IFN-γ were primarily produced by CD4+ T cells, since CD4 + T cell depleted PBMCs produced reduced amounts of these cytokines. Infant cells produced significantly more IL-17, but similar levels of IFN-γ, compared to adult cells after MP stimulation. In contrast, polyclonal stimulation induced lower levels IL-17 and IFN-γ in infant compared to adult PBMCs and CD4+ T cells. The strong IL-17 production in infants after MP stimulation was paralleled by significantly higher production of the IL-17 promoting cytokine IL-1β from infant compared to adult PBMCs and monocytes. In conclusion, these results show that T cells can produce high levels of IL-17 and IFN-β in response to Hp from an early age and indicate a potential role for IL-1β in promoting Th17 responses to Hp during infancy. © 2014 Bhuiyan et al.

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