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Role of cytokines in modulating the induction of mucus production by atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) strains in intestinal cells in vitro

Grant number: 22/12006-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2022
Effective date (End): October 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Biology and Physiology of Microorganisms
Principal Investigator:Tânia Aparecida Tardelli Gomes do Amaral
Grantee:Juan Josue Puño Sarmiento
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/14821-7 - Exploring novel virulence strategies in Escherichia coli, AP.TEM


Infection of the intestinal epithelium by certain enteropathogens results in a modification in the expression of genes encoding pro-inflammatory cytokines and the production of mucins. Our group demonstrated that some strains of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (aEPEC) significantly increase mucus production when inoculated into ligated rabbit ileal loops in vivo. In the same study, it was evidenced by immunofluorescence that these strains cause an increase in the production of mucins types 2, 3, 4, and 5AC in goblet cells in culture and an increase in the transcription of the mRNA of MUC4 and MUC5AC. There are no studies on potential modifications in the production of cytokines caused by infection with aEPEC strains of human origin during interaction with different models of intestinal cells. Thus, we are interested in understanding the possible correlation between the induction of mucus production by selected aEPEC strains and the altered production of specific cytokines in these models. For that, aEPEC interaction experiments will be carried out in ex vivo rabbit intestinal cell infection models to analyze the increase in mucus production, the change in the cytokine expression profile in these tissues, and the potential correlation between these phenomena. Identifying cellular mechanisms that lead to excessive mucus production resulting from the interaction of some strains of aEPEC with the intestinal mucosa may favor the design of adequate prophylactic measures, thus avoiding severe alterations in this organ.

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