Volume 84, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Enterotoxigenic (ETEC) is a common cause of acute diarrhea in resource-poor settings. We report that some ETEC strains elicit a reduction in trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TER) in polarized T84 epithelial cell monolayers. The effect was irreversible up to 48 hours after a three-hour infection and was observed with heat-labile enterotoxin (LT)–producing strains, but not with heat-stable enterotoxin (ST)–producing strains. Using purified LT, a mutant with reduced ADP-ribosylating activity, and the LT-B subunit alone, we demonstrate that TER reduction requires a functional enterotoxin. Treatment of monolayers with LT or LT-producing strains of ETEC increases paracellular permeability to fluorescein isothiocyanate–dextran. Our data suggest that LT-producing ETEC strains may induce intestinal barrier dysfunction.


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  • Received : 09 Aug 2010
  • Accepted : 01 Nov 2010

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