Helicobacter pylori is associated with an inflammatory reaction in the stomach and duodenum, yet the mechanism of this inflammatory infiltrate is unknown. The ability of Helicobacter pylori to secrete a factor that attracts leucocytes is investigated. Helicobacter pylori conditioned supernatant attracted neutrophils and monocytes with 50-100% of the activity of control chemotactic factor, 10(-8) M formyl-methionine-leucine-phenylalanine. Strains derived from individuals with ulcer or non-ulcer associated H pylori infections displayed similar chemotactic activity. Preliminary characterisation shows that the factor has a molecular weight of less than 3000, is heat stable, is acid resistant, and can be diluted at least 10-fold. Checkerboard analysis confirmed that the activity was chemotactic rather than chemokinetic. This chemotactic activity could play a role in the pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori gastritis.
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