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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Treatment of Helicobacter gastritis with IL-4 requires somatostatin.

Fifty percent of the world's population is infected with Helicobacter pylori; however, treatment has been insufficient to eradicate the organisms due to rising antibiotic resistance. Helicobacter infection is characterized by induction of a T helper 1 lymphocyte ( Th1) immune response, hypergastrinemia, and suppressed tissue somatostatin (SOM) levels. However, the mechanism by which the immune response regulates acid secretion is not known. We show here that treatment with IFN-gamma, a Th1 cytokine, was sufficient to induce gastritis, increase gastrin, and decrease SOM levels within 7 days. In contrast, the T helper 2 lymphocyte cytokine IL-4 increased SOM levels and effectively suppressed gastrin expression and secretion. This result demonstrated reciprocal regulation of acid regulatory peptides by immune modulators. IL-4 pretreatment prevented gastritis in infected wild-type but not in SOM null mice. Thus, the ability of IL-4 to oppose a Th1- mediated infection required SOM. Immunofluorescence was used to document the presence of IL-4 receptors on the gastric SOM-secreting cell (D cell). Moreover, IL-4 stimulated SOM release from primary D cell cultures. Treatment of mice chronically infected with Helicobacter felis for 2 mo with the SOM analogue octreotide resolved the inflammation. Thus, a mechanism by which IL-4 resolves inflammation in the stomach is by stimulating the release of SOM from gastric D cells.[1]


  1. Treatment of Helicobacter gastritis with IL-4 requires somatostatin. Zavros, Y., Rathinavelu, S., Kao, J.Y., Todisco, A., Del Valle, J., Weinstock, J.V., Low, M.J., Merchant, J.L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
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