BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis and is the most important risk factor of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. In chronic adulthood H. pylori infection some matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are proteolytic metalloendopeptidases regulated by tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs), are upregulated. Our aim was to determine circulating levels of MMPs and their regulators TIMP-1, human neutrophil elastase (HNE) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in childhood H. pylori infection.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Twenty-six H. pylori positive and 34 H. pylori negative children whose H. pylori status was verified by histological examination of gastric biopsies were included. Serum samples were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: Significantly decreased serum levels of TIMP-1 were detected in H. pylori-infected children (median, 97.50 ng/mL) as compared to H. pylori-negative children (median, 118.5 ng/mL, p = 0.003). However, there were no significant differences in serum levels of MMP-2, -7, -8, -9, and their regulators HNE and MPO between H. pylori-positive and -negative children.
CONCLUSIONS: Differing from the recent findings in adulthood H. pylori infection, only circulating TIMP-1 levels were significantly different between H. pylori-positive and -negative children. Whether this reflects the first sign of a proteolytic cascade later leading to increased levels of MMPs remains to be shown.
2010. Vol. 70, no 7, 492-496 p.