Our aim was to determine if salt and stress enhance Helicobacter pylori (Hp) lesions in Meriones unguiculatus. Two hundred seventy-eight pathogen-free gerbils were allocated to seven groups: Hp-Sydney strain (45), 8% higher-salt diet (38), stress (60% space reduction/water immersion; 36), Hp + salt (33), Hp + stress (34), N-methyl-N-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (34), and sham (58). Gerbils were sacrificed at 1 week (67), 12 weeks (73), 52 weeks (65), and 68 weeks (73). Sydney, Padova, and Lauren classifications were blindly used. Proliferation, p53, p21, and apoptosis were assessed. Follicular active gastritis (grade 2/3) was observed in 10% of Hp gerbils, 38% of Hp + salt gerbils, and 29% of Hp + stress gerbils at 52 weeks and 67%, 83%, and 43% at 68 weeks (P < 0.05). Heterotopic proliferative glands were identified in synergy groups from 52 weeks, with increases in their number and size by 68 weeks. Higher proliferative rates were observed in Hp+salt gerbils (P < 0.0001), and p21 overexpression in Hp+salt and Hp+stress gerbils (both P's < 0.0001), by 68 weeks, without p53 increases. We conclude that salt and stress synergize Hp damage and increase pseudo-invasive gland foci.
- Helicobacter pylori