Author ORCID Identifier 0000-0001-9208-6937

Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


1. NATURAL SCIENCES, 1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, Cell biology,, Microbiology

Publication Details

American Journal of Physiology


Epidemiological and clinical studies provide compelling support for a causal relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and endothelial dysfunction, leading to vascular diseases. However, clear biochemical evidence for this association is limited. In the present study, we have conducted a comprehensive investigation of endothelial injury in bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) induced by H. pylori-conditioned medium (HPCM) prepared from H. pylori 60190 [vacuolating cytotoxin A (Vac(+))]. BAECs were treated with either unconditioned media, HPCM (0-25% vol/vol), or Escherichia coli-conditioned media for 24 h, and cell functions were monitored. Vac(+) HPCM significantly decreased BAEC proliferation, tube formation, and migration (by up to 44%, 65%, and 28%, respectively). Posttreatment, we also observed sporadic zonnula occludens-1 immunolocalization along the cell-cell border, and increased BAEC permeability to FD40 Dextran, indicating barrier reduction. These effects were blocked by 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid (VacA inhibitor) and were not observed with conditioned media prepared from either VacA-deleted H. pylori or E. coli. The cellular mechanism mediating these events was also considered. Vac(+) HPCM (but not Vac(-)) reduced nitric oxide (NO) by >50%, whereas S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine, an NO donor, recovered all Vac(+) HPCM-dependent effects on cell functions. We further demonstrated that laminar shear stress, an endothelial NO synthase/NO stimulus in vivo, could also recover the Vac(+) HPCM-induced decreases in BAEC functions. This study shows, for the first time, a significant proatherogenic effect of H. pylori-secreted factors on a range of vascular endothelial dysfunction markers. Specifically, the VacA-dependent reduction in endothelial NO is indicated in these events. The atheroprotective impact of laminar shear stress in this context is also evident.