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Hum Exp Toxicol. 2000 Feb;19(2):108-16.

An assessment of the in vitro toxicology of Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon-toxin in human and animal cells.

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Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK.


The epithelial Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell line and 17 human cell lines were examined for sensitivity to Clostridium perfringens type D epsilon-toxin. MDCK cells were confirmed as being sensitive to the toxin. In addition, the Caucasian renal leiomyoblastoma (G-402) human cell line was identified as being epsilon-toxin sensitive. Using the MTS/PMS assay system the concentration of toxin reducing cell culture viability by 50% (LC50) was found to be 2 microg/ml in MDCK cells. The LC50 for G-402 cells was 280 microg/ml. Epsilon-Toxin was found to be rapid acting in MDCK cells exposed to a maximum lethal dose of the toxin (40% loss of viability after a 0.5 h exposure), but slower acting in G-402 cells (40% loss of viability after 1.7 h exposure). Photomicrography of toxin exposed cultures indicated necrotic cell death on exposure to epsilon-toxin. Investigations using an antibody probe indicated that epsilon-toxin could bind to many cell surface proteins in both MDCK, G-402 and a toxin insensitive human cell line (CAKI-2). It has previously been found that the toxin may bind to the cell surface via glycosylated moieties. However, exposing MDCK and G-402 cells to epsilon-toxin in the presence of sialic acid and several different sugars did not reduce the lethal effects of the toxin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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