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Infect Immun. 1995 June; 63(6): 2302–2309.
PMCID: PMC173301

Transepithelial signaling to neutrophils by salmonellae: a novel virulence mechanism for gastroenteritis.


Salmonella serotypes which elicit human enteritis cannot be distinguished from those that do not on the basis of their in vitro interactions with eukaryotic cells. We have recently reported that an enteritis-producing strain of Salmonella typhimurium signals intact intestinal epithelium to recruit subepithelial neutrophils to migrate across the epithelial (B. A. McCormick, S. P. Colgan, C. D. Archer, S. I. Miller, and J. L. Madara, J. Cell Biol. 123:895-907, 1993). We now utilize a cell culture model of human intestinal epithelium (with T84 cells) to examine whether such transepithelial signaling to neutrophils by salmonellae is predictive of potential to elicit gastroenteritis. Various Salmonella serotypes, including S. typhimurium, S. enteritidis, S. pullorum, S. arizonae, S. typhi, and S. paratyphi, as well as invasion-defective mutants of S. typhimurium, were studied. Strains or serotypes which elicit diffuse enteritis in humans (defined histologically as transepithelial migration of neutrophils) exhibited transepithelial signaling to neutorphils across epithelial cell monolayers, while those which do not elicit diffuse enteritis in humans did not display transepithelial signaling. In contrast, the ability to enter the apical surface of T84 cells did not differentiate strains or serotypes which induce diffuse enteritis from those which do not. These results strongly suggest that the ability of salmonellae to elicit transepithelial signaling to neutrophils is a key virulence mechanism underlying Salmonella-elicited enteritis.

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Selected References

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