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Gastric cancer risk evolves over time due to environmental, dietary, and lifestyle changes, including Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and consumption of hot peppers (i.e., capsaicin). H. pylori infection promotes gastric mucosal injury in the early phase of capsaicin exposure. This relationship suggests a need to investigate the mechanism of how both H. pylori infection and capsaicin contribute to gastric inflammation and lead to gastric cancer. C57-Balb/c mice were infected with the H. pylori (SS1) strain and then fed capsaicin (0.05% or 0.2 g/kg/day) or not. Consequently, tumor size and phenotype were analyzed to determine the molecular mechanism driving the shift from gastritis to stomach cancer. Moreover, we used 2-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) in mice to prevent gastric tumorigenesis by reducing inflammation and promoting recovery of disease-free stasis. This study provides evidence showing that a combination of H. pylori infection and capsaicin consumption leads to gastric carcinogenesis mediated through interleukin-6 (IL-6) stimulation with an incidence rate of 50%. The anti-inflammatory role of DFMO highlights the injurious effect of inflammation in gastric cancer development and the need to reduce gastric inflammation for cancer prevention by inhibiting IL-6. Accordingly, preventive measures such as reduced capsaicin consumption, H. pylori clearance, and DFMO treatment may lessen gastric cancer incidence.
Faisal Aziz,Mingxia Xin,Yunfeng Gao,Abhijit Chakroborty,Imran Khan,Josh Monts,Kjersten Monson,Ann M Bode,Zigang Dong