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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


MOURA, S.B. et al. Hepatic changes in mice chronically infected with Helicobacter trogontum. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2003, vol.36, n.9, pp.1209-1213. ISSN 0100-879X.

We infected NIH germ-free female mice with Helicobacter trogontum, a recently described intestinal bacterium of rats, in order to study the lesions it induced in the liver of this host. Fifteen mice were challenged with a single dose of H. trogontum (test group) and killed 6, 12 and 18 months after inoculation (5 animals/group). Nine animals were challenged with 0.85% saline alone (control group) and killed at the same times. Fragments from the liver, cecum and colon were obtained for microbiologic and histologic examination. Stool samples were also collected. H. trogontum was detected in the cecum, colon and/or stool samples of all test mice. As expected, the bacterium was not isolated from any specimen obtained from the control animals. On the other hand, although we could not cultivate the bacterium from the liver, 13 test animals (86.7%) presented histological changes in this organ. The 6-month group presented infiltration of mononuclear and polymorphonuclear cells in the hepatic parenchyma and the two other groups presented foci of mononuclear cells. The results suggest that H. trogontum can elicit a hepatic inflammatory response in mice since the only difference between control and test animals was the presence of H. trogontum in the latter. This result, together with the growing number of related reports in the literature, reinforces the possible role of Helicobacter infection in the pathogenesis of hepatobiliary diseases.

Keywords : Helicobacter; Helicobacter trogontum; Animal model; Liver; Mice.

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