Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Complex pathogens: Effects of gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori on other organs revealed

05.02.2016

Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium colonising the stomach, has a bad reputation: It is said to cause gastritis, stomach ulcers and, in the long run, even cancer. And yet, it seems the bacterium could also have some positive effects. A team of scientists from Graz and New York examined the impact of a Helicobacter infection on the stomach, intestines and lungs over a period of six months. The unexpected findings were published in the current edition of the prestigious journal Cell Reports.

Some two kilogrammes of bacteria live on and in our body. It is not always easy to distinguish between “good” and “bad” bacteria because their complex interactions have barely been explored. This is also true for Helicobacter pylori. “We do know, for example, that in societies where the prevalence of Helicobacter is high, children suffer less frequently from asthma”, says Dr. Sabine Kienesberger of the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Graz, lead author of the paper in Cell Reports.


Sabine Kienesberger-Feist

Photo: Uni Graz/Lunghammer


The scientists discovered various interesting relationships: “Our investigations have shown that a Helicobacter infection leads to an accumulation of specific T-cells in the lungs. These cells play an important role in our immune system”, Kienesberger says.

The team was particularly surprised to see that a Heliobacter infection also entails changes in the composition of the intestinal flora which can, in turn, stimulate the immune system. The researchers also found shifts in hormonal balance. “The concentration of the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin, for example, increased. Excessive production of this hormone stimulates the appetite. Ghrelin is also known to have an impact on the immune system”, Kienesberger adds.

What makes this study so special is the long-term observation of the Helicobacter infection and its effects in the mouse model as a dynamic process over an extended period. Kienesberger: “The early and to some extent contradictory effects on the lungs came as a surprise, even though an increased immune reaction in the stomach was noted only later.” The study provides a sound basis for further research and targeted investigation of the complex interactions of Helicobacter, microbiome and the immune system.

Kienesberger cooperated with colleagues from the University of Graz, the Medical University of Graz, and from New York University School of Medicine for this publication. She carried out the major part of her investigations during her 30-month postdoc programme in New York where she worked in the team of Prof. Dr. Martin Blaser, a pioneer in microbiome research. At the University of Graz she is a member of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ellen Zechner’s working group. The study was undertaken in the framework of BioTechMed-Graz, the joint research initiative of the University of Graz, the Medical University of Graz and Graz University of Technology.

Publication:
Gastric Helicobacter pylori Infection Affects Local and Distant Microbial Populations and Host Responses
Sabine Kienesberger, Laura M. Cox, Alexandra Livanos, Xue-Song Zhang, Jennifer Chung, Guillermo I. Perez-Perez, Gregor Gorkiewicz, Ellen L. Zechner, and Martin J. Blaser
Cell Reports, February 16, 2016

Contact:
Dr. Sabine Kienesberger-Feist
Institute of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Graz, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)316/380-5505
E-mail: sabine.kienesberger@uni-graz.at

Mag. Gudrun Pichler | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
Further information:
http://www.uni-graz.at

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>