Adult T-Cell Leukemia/Lymphoma Infiltrate H. Pylori Infected Gastric Tissues

Patients with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) are often seen to have gastrointestinal involvement. These cells can infiltrate gastric tissues infected with Helicobacter pylori.

Physicians from specialist departments in Nagasaki, Japan, who investigated this correlation between H. pylori infection and ATLL gastric involvement, suggest it is probably due to the interaction of adhesion molecules on these cells and their ligands on the vasculature in gastric mucosa.

Previous research by the same team found that patients with human T-cell lymphotropic virus 1 (HTLV-1) infection, including those with ATLL, had a relatively low prevalence of H. pylori infection.

In the current study of 71 patients with ATLL, gastric involvement was confirmed by endoscopy and biopsy. Serology, rapid urease test, and immunohistochemistry on biopsy samples were used to detect H. pylori infection.

Of the 21 patients (30 percent) found to have gastric involvement, eight had acute clinical subtype ATLL and 13 had lymphoma type ATLL. H. pylori infection was prevalent in 18 of these patients (86 percent). However, it was found in only 19 of the 50 patients (38 percent) without such involvement (P < 0.001).

ATLL cells infiltrating the stomach were seen to have the most frequent expression of lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) and its ligand, intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1).

This was enhanced substantially on vascular endothelium in gastric mucosa infected by H. pylori.

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