SAMP1/YitFcs mice serve as a model of Crohn's disease, and we have used them to assess gastritis. Gastritis was compared in SAMP1/YitFcs, AKR, and C57BL/6 mice by histology, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry. Gastric acid secretion was measured in ligated stomachs, while anti-parietal cell antibodies were assayed by immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay. SAMP1/YitFcs mice display a corpus-dominant, chronic gastritis with multifocal aggregates of mononuclear cells consisting of T and B lymphocytes. Relatively few aggregates were observed elsewhere in the stomach. The infiltrates in the oxyntic mucosa were associated with the loss of parietal cell mass. AKR mice, the founder strain of the SAMP1/YitFcs, also have gastritis, although they do not develop ileitis. Genetic studies using SAMP1/YitFcs-C57BL/6 congenic mice showed that the genetic regions regulating ileitis had comparable effects on gastritis. The majority of the cells in the aggregates expressed the T cell marker CD3 or the B cell marker B220. Adoptive transfer of SAMP1/YitFcs CD4+ T helper cells, with or without B cells, into immunodeficient recipients induced a pangastritis and duodenitis. SAMP1/YitFcs and AKR mice manifest hypochlorhydria and anti-parietal cell antibodies. These data suggest that common genetic factors controlling gastroenteric disease in SAMP1/YitFcs mice regulate distinct pathogenic mechanisms causing inflammation in separate sites within the digestive tract.