Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25710915
J. Immunol. 2015 Apr;194(7):3259-66
Helicobacter pylori infection triggers chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa that may progress to gastric cancer. The hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are the central mediators of cellular adaptation to low oxygen levels (hypoxia), but they have emerged recently as major transcriptional regulators of immunity and inflammation. No studies have investigated whether H. pylori affects HIF signaling in immune cells and a potential role for HIF in H. pylori-mediated gastritis. HIF-1 and HIF-2 expression was examined in human H. pylori-positive gastritis biopsies. Subsequent experiments were performed in naive and polarized bone marrow-derived macrophages from wild-type (WT) and myeloid HIF-1α-null mice (HIF-1(Δmyel)). WT and HIF-1(Δmyel) mice were inoculated with H. pylori by oral gavage and sacrificed 6 mo postinfection. HIF-1 was specifically expressed in macrophages of human H. pylori-positive gastritis biopsies. Macrophage HIF-1 strongly contributed to the induction of proinflammatory genes (IL-6, IL-1β) and inducible NO synthase in response to H. pylori. HIF-2 expression and markers of M2 macrophage differentiation were decreased in response to H. pylori. HIF-1(Δmyel) mice inoculated with H. pylori for 6 mo presented with a similar bacterial colonization than WT mice but, surprisingly, a global increase of inflammation, leading to a worsening of the gastritis, measured by an increased epithelial cell proliferation. In conclusion, myeloid HIF-1 is protective in H. pylori-mediated gastritis, pointing to the complex counterbalancing roles of innate immune and inflammatory phenotypes in driving this pathology.