An inverse relation between Helicobacter pylori infection and asthma has been shown in epidemiological studies. Infection with H. pylori, or application of an extract of it before or after sensitization, inhibits allergic airway disease in mice.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of an extract of H. pylori on allergic airway disease induced by repeated allergen exposure in mice that were sensitized and challenged prior to extract application.
C57BL/6 mice were intranasally (i.n.) sensitized and challenged with house dust mite (HDM). After a minimum of 4 weeks, mice received the H. pylori extract intraperitoneally and were rechallenged i.n. with HDM. Allergen-specific antibodies were measured by ELISA. Cells present in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and dendritic cell (DC) subsets in the lung tissue were analyzed by flow cytometry. Tissue inflammation and goblet cell hyperplasia were assessed by histology. Cells of the mediastinal lymph node (mLN) were isolated and in vitro restimulated with HDM or H. pylori extract.
Treatment with H. pylori extract before rechallenge reduced allergen-specific IgE, the DC numbers in the tissue, and goblet cell hyperplasia. Cells isolated from mLN of mice treated with the extract produced significantly more IL-10 and IL-17 after in vitro restimulation with HDM. mLN cells of H. pylori-treated mice that were re-exposed to the H. pylori extract produced significantly more interferon gamma.
An extract of H. pylori is effective in reducing mucus production and various features of inflammation in HDM rechallenged mice.