Cross-reactivity of anti-CagA antibodies with vascular wall antigens: Possible pathogenic link between Helicobacter pylori infection and atherosclerosis
Antibodies; Atherosclerosis; Infection
Background - Helicobacter pylori-CagA positive strains have been shown to be associated with atherosclerosis. However, the pathogenesis is still undetermined. The aim of this study was to determine whether anti-CagA antibodies cross-react with antigens of normal and atherosclerotic arteries. Methods and Results - Eight umbilical cord sections, 14 atherosclerotic artery sections, and 10 gastrointestinal tract sections were examined by immunohistochemistry using polyclonal anti-CagA antibodies. Five atherosclerotic and 3 normal artery samples were also lysed in ice-cold lysis buffer containing protease inhibitors and were immunoprecipitated using the same antibodies. Anti-CagA antibodies reacted with cytoplasm and nuclei of smooth muscle cells in umbilical cord and atherosclerotic vessel sections, cytoplasm of fibroblasts-like cells in intimal atherosclerotic plaques, and the cell membranes of endothelial cells. Anti-CagA antibodies also specifically immunoprecipitated 2 high molecular weight antigens of 160 and 180 kDa from both normal and atherosclerotic artery lysates. Conclusions - Anti-CagA antibodies cross-react with antigens of both normal and atherosclerotic blood vessels. We speculate that the binding of anti-CagA antibodies to those antigens in injured arteries could influence the progression of atherosclerosis in CagA-positive H pylori-infected patients.
Franceschi, F., Sepulveda, A., Gasbarrini, A., Pola, P., Silveri, N., Gasbarrini, G., Graham, D., & Genta, R. (2002). Cross-reactivity of anti-CagA antibodies with vascular wall antigens: Possible pathogenic link between Helicobacter pylori infection and atherosclerosis. Circulation, 106 (4). http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/01.CIR.0000024100.90140.19