Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with inflammation of the gastric mucosa and with gastric mucosal damage. In this study, we sought to test the hypothesis that two H. pylori virulence factors (VacA and CagA) impair gastric epithelial cell migration and proliferation, the main processes involved in gastric mucosal healing in vivo. Human gastric epithelial cells (MKN 28) were incubated with undialyzed or dialyzed broth culture filtrates from wild-type H. pylori strains or isogenic mutants defective in production of VacA, CagA, or both products. We found that (i) VacA specifically inhibited cell proliferation without affecting cell migration, (ii) CagA exerted no effect on either cell migration or proliferation, and (iii) undialyzed H. pylori broth culture filtrates inhibited both cell migration and proliferation through a VacA- and CagA-independent mechanism. These findings demonstrate that, in addition to damaging the gastric mucosa, H. pylori products may also impair physiological processes required for mucosal repair
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