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Neonatal Thymectomy Favors Helicobacter pylori–Promoted Gastric Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphoma Lesions in BALB/c Mice

American Journal Of Pathology
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2014.04.008
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Neonatal thymectomy in BALB/c mice has been described as a model of gastric MALT lymphoma (GML). By using this experimental system, we screened, for the first time to our knowledge, Helicobacter pylori GML-associated strains for their capacity to promote disease. A cohort of BALB/c mice underwent thymectomy at day 3 after birth (d3Tx). Successful thymic ablation was evaluated by the degree of lymphopenia in blood samples collected at 4 weeks of age. d3Tx and non-thymectomized controls were infected with either GML strains (B38 or B47) or control strains (SS1 or TN2GF4). Gastric samples collected at 6, 12, and 18 months after infection were studied for bacteria content, and submitted to histological, immunochemical, molecular, and immunological analyses. Severe gastric inflammation was only observed in d3Tx mice. In these animals, the gastric lamina propria was infiltrated with lymphoid cells organized in follicles composed of B cells with few infiltrating T cells. PCR of D/J IgH gene segments proved the monoclonality of infiltrating B cells, which strongly correlated with the presence of lymphoepithelial lesions. B-cell infiltrates were particularly prominent in mice infected with the B47-GML strain. No pathological changes were detected in noninfected d3Tx mice. We identified new H. pylori isolates adapted to the mouse stomach with high potential of GML development, which is only revealed in hosts rendered lymphopenic by neonatal thymic ablation.

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