Am J Pathol 2017 Jul 29;187(7):1473-1484. Epub 2017 Apr 29.
INSERM UMR1053, Bordeaux Research in Translational Oncology, Bordeaux, France. Electronic address:
APRIL is a member of the tumor necrosis factor cytokine family involved in the regulation of B-cell immunity. We present a study of the infection by Helicobacter species of transgenic (Tg) C57BL6 mice, ectopically expressing the human form of APRIL. Wild-type (WT) and APRIL Tg mice were infected with Helicobacter felis and Helicobacter pylori and compared with noninfected animals. Mice were euthanized 18 months after infection, and inflammatory responses and histologic alterations were analyzed. Flow cytometry results revealed that WT-infected mice had less leukocyte infiltration than APRIL Tg-infected mice. In WT-infected mice, infiltrates in gastric tissues were predominantly composed of T cells, mainly CD4 for H. pylori and CD8 for H. felis. In APRIL Tg-infected mice, leukocyte infiltrates were composed of B cells with few CD4 T cells for both species. B cells expressed B surface markers compatible with a marginal zone origin. These results were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. B cells in particular were involved in lymphoepithelial lesions, a hallmark of gastric MALT lymphoma. Monoclonality was observed in a few infiltrates in the presence of lymphoepithelial lesions. These results confirm the importance of APRIL in the development of gastric lymphoid infiltrates induced by Helicobacter species in vivo. We believe that APRIL Tg mice infected by Helicobacter species may represent a novel animal model of gastric lymphomagenesis.