Serum neutralizing antibody response to the vacuolating cytotoxin of Helicobacter pylori

T. L. Cover, P. Cao, U. K. Murthy, M. S. Sipple, M. J. Blaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Approximately 50% of Helicobacter pylori isolates produce a cytotoxin in vitro that induces vacuolation of eukaryotic cells. To determine the in vivo relevance of this phenomenon, we sought to detect cytotoxin-neutralizing antibodies in sera from H. pylori-infected persons. As a group, sera from 29 H. pylori-infected patients neutralized the activity of the purified cytotoxin to a significantly greater extent than sera from 24 uninfected persons (P = 0.007). The cytotoxin neutralizing activity in sera from H. pylori-infected persons was mediated predominantly by the purified IgG fraction. Sera from H. pylori-infected persons neutralized the cytotoxins produced by multiple H. pylori strains, but failed to neutralize trimethylamine-induced cell vacuolation. Neutralization of cytotoxin activity by human or immune rabbit sera was associated with immunoblot IgG recognition of an 87-kD H. pylori protein. Similarly, neutralization of the toxin by sera was associated with IgG recognition of the purified cytotoxin in an enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (P < 0.0001). The presence of cytotoxin- neutralizing antibodies in sera from H. pylori-infected persons indicates that the cytotoxin is synthesized in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


  • autophagy
  • gastritis
  • peptic ulcer
  • toxin
  • vacuole

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