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Open Access Review

"Targeted disruption of the epithelial-barrier by Helicobacter pylori"

Lydia E Wroblewski1 and Richard M Peek123

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA

2 Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA

3 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37212, USA

Cell Communication and Signaling 2011, 9:29  doi:10.1186/1478-811X-9-29

Published: 1 November 2011

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori colonizes the human gastric epithelium and induces chronic gastritis, which can lead to gastric cancer. Through cell-cell contacts the gastric epithelium forms a barrier to protect underlying tissue from pathogenic bacteria; however, H. pylori have evolved numerous strategies to perturb the integrity of the gastric barrier. In this review, we summarize recent research into the mechanisms through which H. pylori disrupts intercellular junctions and disrupts the gastric epithelial barrier.