Increased LIGHT expression and activation of non-canonical NF-kappaB are observed in gastric lesions of MyD88-deficient mice upon Helicobacter felis infection

Mejias-Luque, R., Lozano-Pope, I., Wanisch, A., Heikenwalder, M., Gerhard, M., and Obonyo, M. (2019). Sci Rep 9, 7030. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-43417-x


Helicobacter pylori infection induces a number of pro-inflammatory signaling pathways contributing to gastric inflammation and carcinogenesis. Among those, NF-κB signaling plays a pivotal role during infection and malignant transformation of the gastric epithelium. However, deficiency of the adaptor molecule myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MyD88), which signals through NF-κB, led to an accelerated development of gastric pathology upon H. felis infection, but the mechanisms leading to this phenotype remained elusive. Non-canonical NF-κB signaling was shown to aggravate H. pylori-induced gastric inflammation via activation of the lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR). In the present study, we explored whether the exacerbated pathology observed in MyD88-deficient (Myd88-/-) mice was associated with aberrant activation of non-canonical NF-κB. Our results indicate that, in the absence of MyD88, H. felis infection enhances the activation of non-canonical NF-κB that is associated with increase in Cxcl9 and Icam1 gene expression and CD3+ lymphocyte recruitment. In addition, activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling was higher in Myd88-/- compared to wild type (WT) mice, indicating a link between MyD88 deficiency and STAT3 activation in response to H. felis infection. Thereby, MyD88 deficiency results in accelerated and aggravated gastric pathology induced by Helicobacter through activation of non-canonical NF-κB.