Helicobacter pylori causes gastritis, which has been attributed to the development of H. pylori-specific T cells during infection. However, the mechanism underlying innate immune detection leading to the priming of T cells is not fully understood, as H. pylori evades TLR detection. Here, we report that H. pylori metabolites modified from host cholesterol exacerbate gastritis through the interaction with C-type lectin receptors. Cholesteryl acyl a-glucoside (aCAG) and cholesteryl phosphatidyl a-glucoside (aCPG) were identified as noncanonical ligands for Mincle (Clec4e) and DCAR (Clec4b1). During chronic infection, H. pylori-specific T cell responses and gastritis were ameliorated in Mincle-deficient mice, although bacterial burdens remained unchanged. Furthermore, a mutant H. pylori strain lacking aCAG and aCPG exhibited an impaired ability to cause gastritis. Thus H. pylori-specific modification of host cholesterol plays a pathophysiological role that exacerbates gastric inflammation by triggering C-type lectin receptors.
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