Helicobacter pylori is classified by IARC/WHO as a definite human gastric carcinogen, despite “inadequate experimental evidence.” To obtain direct evidence concerning this relationship, we investigated the histopathological findings of gastric mucosa using a model of H. pylori infection in Mongolian gerbils. The animals were challenged p.o. with H. pylori ATCC-43504 and sacrificed at 6, 12, and 18 months after inoculation for histological examination. All inoculated animals were infected with H. pylori. Severe infiltration of the lamina propria by polymorphonuclear and mononuclear cells appeared in the lesser curvature of the antrum, with an increase in epithelial cell proliferation, and the infiltration extended to the body. Atrophic gastritis and focal intestinal metaplasia also appeared in the lesser curvature of the antral mucosa at 6 months after inoculation. Intestinal metaplasia became severe, with dysplasia, after that. At 18 months after H. pylori inoculation, two of five infected animals showed three well-differentiated gastric cancers. The uninfected control animals showed no abnormal findings throughout the entire observation period. Here, it was confirmed that H. pylori infection alone causes gastric cancer in an animal model.


This work was supported in part by Grant-in-Aid for Science Research 98457170 from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Japan).

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