, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 77-86

Helicobacter pylori and gut hormones

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Helicobacter pylori

infection has been found to decrease the expression of antral somatostatin and to increase the release of the acid-stimulating hormone gastrin. The reversal of these changes in gut hormones by the eradication of H. pylori, and in-vivo and in-vitro studies in animals either infected with H. pylori or exposed to H. pylori-related materials may support the somatostatin-gastrin link theory in the pathophysiology of H. pylori infection. The following mechanisms have been proposed to explain the H. pylori infection-associated changes in gut hormones; (1) ammonia produced by H. pylori and monochloramine, (2) effect on somatostatin receptor subtype-2, (3) action of lipopolysaccharide from H. pylori on somatostatin receptor, (4) inflammatory cells and mediators, and (5) bacterial strain diversity. H. pylori infection can alter gastric acid secretion in both directions. The elevated acid secretion in patients with duodenal ulcer is decreased by H. pylori eradication, and is accompanied by the normalization of gut hormones in patients whose H. pylori-induced gastritis is limited to the antrum with hyperacidity. Corpus gastritis and the subsequent development of mucosal atrophy induced by H. pylori result in decreased acid secretion, although the mechanism underlying H. pylori-induced atrophy in some subjects remains unclear. Hypoacidity enhances corpus atrophy and increases gastrin secretion, mediated via a physiological suppression of somatostatin release, features that are also observed in H. pylori infection. Therefore, the capacity of acid secretion and distribution of gastritis or atrophy should be taken into consideration when we discuss the affect of H. pylori on gut hormones.

Received: October 1, 2001 / Accepted: November 30, 2001