Human dendritic cells respond to Helicobacter pylori, promoting NK cell and Th1-effector responses in vitro

Nadia Hafsi, Petra Voland, Susanne Schwendy, Roland Rad, Wolfgang Reindl, Markus Gerhard, Christian Prinz

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111 Scopus citations


Helicobacter pylori infection leads to chronic gastric inflammation. The current study determined the response of human APCs, NK cells, and T cells toward the bacteria in vitro. Human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) were incubated with bacteria for 48 h. Intact H. pylori at a multitude of infection 5 stimulated the expression of MHC class II (4- to 7-fold), CD80, and CD86 B7 molecules (10- to 12-fold) and the CD83 costimulatory molecule (>30-fold) as well as IL-12 secretion (>50-fold) in DCs, and thereby, strongly induced their maturation and activation. CD56+/CD4- NK cells, as well as CD4+/CD45RA+ naive T cells, were isolated and incubated with DCs pulsed with intact bacteria or different cellular fractions. Coculture of H. pylori-pulsed DCs with NK cells strongly potentiated the secretion of TNF-α and IFN-γ. Coculture of naive T cells with H. pylori-pulsed DCs significantly enhanced TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-2 secretion as well as T-bet mRNA levels, while GATA-3 mRNA was lowered. However, the effect appeared attenuated compared with coculture with Escherichia coli. A greater stimulation was seen with naive T cells and DCs pulsed with H. pylori membrane preparations. Intact H. pylori potently induced the maturation and activation of human monocyte-derived DC and thereby promote NK and Th1 effector responses. The strong activation of NK cells may be important for the innate immune response. Th1-polarized T cells were induced especially by incubation with membrane preparations of H. pylori, suggesting that membrane proteins may account for the specific adaptive immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1257
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2004


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