Published online Feb 14, 2008. doi: 10.3748/wjg.14.884
Revised: December 19, 2007
Published online: February 14, 2008
AIM: To investigate the interrelationship between H pylori and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in the gastric carcinogenesis having in focus the p53 mutation and the c-Myc, Bcl-2 and Bax expression.
METHODS: seventy-one gastric carcinoma tissues were assessed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for H pylori and in situ hybridization for EBV. c-Myc, Bcl-2 and Bax expression were detected by immunohistochemistry and single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) for p53 mutation.
RESULTS: The positivity rates for H pylori and EBV were 94.4% and 8.45%, respectively. The majority of the cases displayed only the H pylori presence. All EBV positive cases were also H pylori positive. None infectious agent was observed in 5.55% of the cases. The intestinal type tumor was more frequent in the co-infected and non-infected groups. The female predominated in the non-infected group showing statistical significance (70.4% vs 29.6%, P = 0.039). The Bcl-2 was only detected in the group exclusively infected by H pylori. However, c-Myc and Bax were detected in the three groups but with a low frequency in the co-infected group. Mutation of p53 was present in all groups, with the highest frequencies in the H pylori positive groups.
CONCLUSION: The frequency of H pylori infection in gastric carcinomas was high. The presented data indicated that gastric carcinogenesis has different pathways depending of the presence of the two investigated infectious agents, suggesting a possible involvement of H pylori with apoptotic process. The low expression of c-Myc and Bax in the EBV-positive groups suggests that EBV may inhibit the expression of these proteins. Nevertheless, p53 mutation shows to be a relevant alteration, independent of both infectious agents.