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Gastroenterology. 1998 Dec;115(6):1446-53.

Epithelial cell-initiated inflammation plays a crucial role in early tissue damage in amebic infection of human intestine.

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Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.



Entamoeba histolytica infection of the intestine can induce severe gut inflammation. The aims of this study were to assess the role of the host inflammatory response in the tissue damage observed with amebiasis and the role of the intestinal epithelial cell in initiating that response.


E. histolytica infection was established in human intestinal xenografts in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID-HU-INT) mice. Human intestinal epithelial cell inflammatory responses to amebic infection were inhibited by the intraluminal administration of an antisense oligonucleotide to the human p65 subunit of nuclear factor kappaB, and the role of neutrophils in tissue damage observed with amebiasis was studied by depleting neutrophils from SCID-HU-INT mice.


Administration of the antisense oligonucleotide blocked the production of human interleukin 1beta and interleukin 8 by intestinal epithelial cells and inhibited neutrophil influx into the E. histolytica-infected intestinal xenografts. Inhibition of the gut inflammatory response by the antisense oligonucleotide or the depletion of neutrophils from SCID-HU-INT mice blocked the increase in intestinal permeability observed with amebic infection.


Intestinal epithelial cells initiate an inflammatory response with resulting neutrophil-mediated tissue damage in response to E. histolytica infection; this inflammatory cascade can be blocked by inhibiting the transcription of genes regulated by nuclear factor kappaB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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