Products of enteropathogenic E. coli inhibit lymphokine production by gastrointestinal lymphocytes

Jan Michael Klapproth, Michael S. Donnenberg, John M. Abraham, Stephen P. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Previously we have shown that lysates of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) inhibit lymphokine production by mitogen-activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The aim of the present study was to determine whether products of EPEC alter lymphokine expression by gastrointestinal mucosal lymphocytes. Lysates from EPEC clones inhibited mitogen-stimulated interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-5, and interferon-γ (IFN- γ) but not IL-8 mRNA expression by lamina propria mononuclear cells isolated from surgically resected colon specimens. Inhibitory lysates did not significantly change CD25 expression on either CD4, CD8, or CD45R0 lymphocytes by flow cytometry. Bacterial supernatants of EPEC inhibited IL-2 and IL-5 protein secretion by mitogen-stimulated PBMCs. EPEC lysates inhibited IL-2 mRNA expression induced by lysates of nonpathogenic E. coli. In conclusion, EPEC contains a novel gene(s) that encodes factors that selectively inhibit IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, and IFN-γ expression by mucosal mononuclear cells without affecting CD25 or IL-8 expression. Thus enteric bacteria can produce factors that may regulate the function of the gastrointestinal mucosal immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 34-5
StatePublished - Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • cytokines
  • enteropathogenic Escherichia coli
  • mucosal lymphocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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