Effect of Heparin, Fucoidan and Other Polysaccharides on Adhesion of Enterohepatic Helicobacter Species to Murine Macrophages


Helicobacter species have been isolated and cultured from both the gastric and enterohepatic niches of the gastrointestinal tract and are associated with a wide spectrum of diseases. Some members of the enterohepatic Helicobacter species (EHS), which include Helicobacter bilis, Helicobacter hepaticus and Helicobacter pullorum, are associated with chronic inflammatory and proliferative bowel inflammation, hepatitis and in experimental murine studies with hepatic cancer. The present study aimed to explore if polysulphated polysaccharides can prevent adhesion of EHS to the murine macrophage cell line J774A.1. A competitive binding assay showed that heparin and heparan sulphate at a concentration of 1.25 mg/ml reduced binding of H. hepaticus and H. pullorum to the host cells, but not H. bilis. Of the tested Helicobacter spp, the highest inhibition by heparin was demonstrated for H. pullorum (P < 0.01), the most hydrophilic strain. Partially or completely de-sulphated heparin derivatives lost the ability to inhibit adherence of EHS, indicating the importance of sulphated groups of heparin. The most efficient inhibitor of EHS binding to macrophages was fucoidan, which reduced bacterial adhesion of the three enterohepatic Helicobacter species to a greater extent than heparin, 60–90% inhibition vs 30–70% inhibition by heparin. Identification of receptors that EHS ligands bind to is important for understanding the development of infection and may provide a rational target to prevent infection and therapy.

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We give special thanks to Agnieszka Fiutka for the excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by grants from the Swedish Research Council (16x-04723 to T.W.), by an ALF grant from the University Hospital of Lund from the Swedish Institute (scholarship to NL) and The Royal Physiographic Society in Lund.

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Correspondence to Åsa Ljungh.

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Lutay, N., Nilsson, I., Wadström, T. et al. Effect of Heparin, Fucoidan and Other Polysaccharides on Adhesion of Enterohepatic Helicobacter Species to Murine Macrophages. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 164, 1–9 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12010-010-9109-7

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  • Enterohepatic Helicobacter species
  • Bacterial adhesion
  • Macrophages
  • Polysaccharides
  • Heparin
  • Fucoidan