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Potential role of Helicobacter pylori in hepatocarcinogenesis

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Helicobacter species can induce carcinoma in the liver of certain mice. Furthermore, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) exhibits hepatotoxicity in vitro. These reports indicate that H. pylori may play a role in hepatocarcinogenesis. The aim of this study was to assess the presence of H. pylori in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to determine if H. pylori may affect the development of this disease. Liver specimens from 15 HCC patients dissected into tumor and non-tumor tissues were examined for H. pylori by PCR using two sets of primers for 16S rRNA and urease B. DNA sequencing analysis was performed to confirm that PCR products with 16S rRNA primers were derived from H. pylori DNA. The specimens were also examined for H. pylori by immunohistochemistry using anti-H. pylori antibody. H. pylori was found in 13 of 15 tumor tissues, not in the non-tumor tissues. By contrast, Escherichia coli and Bacteroides fragilis, frequent colonizers of gut, were not detected by PCR in the HCC tumors. Ten cirrhotic liver tissue specimens and seven normal liver tissue specimens were also negative for H. pylori DNA by PCR. The nucleotide sequence of the amplified fragment shared 100% identity with the 16S rRNA gene of H. pylori. H. pylori was also detected in HCC tissue by immunohistochemical analysis. The presence of H. pylori in human HCC tissue was demonstrated by PCR and immunohistochemical analysis. These findings suggest that H. pylori might contribute to the development of HCC. Further study is needed to prove the pathogenetic role of H. pylori in the development of human HCC.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan

Publication date: February 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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