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Food Chem. 2013 Jan 15;136(2):726-34. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.08.078. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Gangliosides and sialic acid effects upon newborn pathogenic bacteria adhesion: an in vitro study.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Valencia, Avenida Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100-Burjassot, Valencia, Spain.


The effect of the main gangliosides (GM(1), GM(3), GD(3)) and free sialic acid (Neu5Ac) upon the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria implicated in infant diarrhoea is assessed in vitro using the Caco-2 cell line. Concentrations of the bioactive compounds found in the bioaccessible (soluble) fraction of infant formula and human milk are employed. Bacterial adhesion behaviour included enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), enteropathogenic E.coli (EPEC), Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella entericaserovartyphi, Shigella sonnei, Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori. Three different approaches were assayed: pre-incubation of bacteria and compounds before addition to cells (competition); pre-incubation of the cells with compounds (exclusion); and pre-incubation of cells with bacteria (displacement). Furthermore, the spatial localization of the most abundant gangliosides, GM(3) and GD(3), in Caco-2 cells has been determined using confocal microscopy. Results show that GM(3), GD(3), GM(1) and Neu5Ac at the assayed concentrations are able to interfere with the adhesion of several pathogenic bacteria involved in neonatal diseases-the greatest effect corresponding to Neu5Ac, followed by GD(3), GM(1) and GM(3). Gangliosides GM(3) and GD(3) are located in the apical and basolateral membranes of the Caco-2 cells.

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