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Toxicol Lett. 1999 Mar 8;105(1):47-57.

A comparison of the effects of verocytotoxin-1 on primary human renal cell cultures.

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Renal Research Laboratory, University Hospital, Birmingham, UK.


Infection with verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli causes haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). Verocytotoxin-1 (VT1) is cytopathic to renal microvascular endothelial cells in culture, supporting the hypothesis that the vasculopathy of HUS is caused directly by the toxic action of VT1 on cells. We provide evidence that VT1 inhibits protein synthesis in primary cultures of glomerular epithelial cells (GE), cortical tubular epithelial cells (CTE) and mesangial cells (MC). Using 100 pg/ml of VT1 we saw a decrease in protein synthesis to 14.3+/-1.9% in vero cells (a primate cell line), 1.7+/-0.3% in GE, 0.9+/-0.4% in CTE and 74.8+/-1.3% in MC at 24 h. The human renal epithelial cells are at least as sensitive as vero cells to the protein synthesis inhibitory effects of VT1 if not more so. Cell viability decreased in all cultures as measured by MTT reduction, neutral red incorporation and lactate dehydrogenase release and followed the same pattern of susceptibility as for protein synthesis inhibition. However, unlike vero cells, death occurred without DNA fragmentation. Cell sensitivity was greatest in cells which bound more VT1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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