Effects of H. pylori treatment on Regulatory T lymphocyte response (T-Reg)

1st January 2013

Status: Ended

Specialism: Upper GI.

Team: Professor John AthertonSam WarburtonDr Karen Robinson.

H. pylori colonizes the stomach of 50% of the world’s population. The majority remain asymptomatic and only a small proportion develop serious complications. H. pylori has evolved with humans which may suggest it has a protective role. There is evidence that H. pylori may be a major contributor to the hygiene hypothesis. By stimulating the production of Tregs, which control immune and inflammatory cells, it may suppress allergic associated conditions. There is no single reliable marker of Treg expression. However, gastric tissue and blood from H. pylori infected patients contains higher levels of H. pylori responsive Tregs, which express the anti-inflammatory protein IL10.

IL10 acts to reduce the degree of inflammation. This suppressive action could potentially explain the chronic infectious state in the absence of peptic ulcer disease and thus why only a small proportion of H. pylori untreated people have ulcers. It is unknown what happens to Tregs after H. pylori eradication. We hypothesize that after H. pylori eradication the Treg response will be markedly reduced as the infectious stimulus is removed. There is a weak link between H. pylori and extra- gastric diseases such as atopy. The protective effects H. pylori may have on the immune system seem confined to childhood. We plan to collect preliminary data on specific asthma measurements to reassure that there is no large change in these parameters after H. pylori eradication therapy. The data will be used to power further studies. We hope to establish whether IL10 is reduced after eradication, whether there is a significant difference before and after treatment. Also to establish whether there is a difference between treated and delayed response to treatment. H. pylori positive patients will be recruited from outpatient clinics. Treg will be measured by simple blood tests, and in small group with asthma special lung function tests.

Photo Name Bio
professor-john-atherton Professor John Atherton John Atherton is Deputy Director of the Gastroenterology and Liver disorders theme within the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. He was the founding Director of the original NIHR Nottingham Digestive Diseases Biomedical Research Unit. John is…
sam-warburton Sam Warburton
dr-karen-robinson Dr Karen Robinson Dr Robinson has been an academic and researcher at the University of Nottingham since 2003. She is the Acting Director of Doctoral Programmes and a member of the Research Committee for the School of Medicine. She has supervised nine PhD students to…
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