Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli decreases the transepithelial electrical resistance of polarized epithelial monolayers

C. Canil, I. Rosenshine, S. Ruschkowski, M. S. Donnenberg, J. B. Kaper, B. B. Finlay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanisms whereby enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) causes diarrhea remain undefined. We found that EPEC caused a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance across polarized monolayers of Caco-2 and MDCK epithelial cells. This occurred approximately 6 to 10 h after bacterial addition and was reversible if the monolayers were treated with tetracycline or gentamicin. Although significant alterations in host actin occurred beneath adherent EPEC, actin filaments supporting tight junctions were not noticeably affected in the epithelial cells, nor was the distribution of ZO-1, a tight junction protein. Despite the decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance, EPEC did not cause an increase in [3H]inulin penetration across MDCK monolayers. Unlike in the parental strain, mutations in any loci involved in adherence or formation of attaching and effacing lesions were unable to cause a decrease in transepithelial resistance. These data indicate that EPEC causes a decrease in transepithelial electrical resistance by disrupting a transcellular (intracellular) pathway rather than by disrupting intercellular tight junctions (paracellular) and that these disruptions occur only when attaching and effacing lesions are formed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2755-2762
Number of pages8
JournalInfection and Immunity
Volume61
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

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