Human epithelial-specific response to pathogenic Campylobacter jejuni. Academic Article uri icon


  • The gastrointestinal epithelia of mammals are tolerant of their resident gut microbiota but are usually highly responsive to entero-pathogens; the host-specific responses have not been well characterized. To this end, the transcriptional responses of cultured human (Caco-2) and murine (CT-26) colonic epithelial cells were compared after exposure with the microfloral bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri or the human gastrointestinal pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. When in bacterial broth, both species elicit a stronger differential gene expression response in human colonic cells compared with mouse colonic cells. However, when these data are adjusted to remove bacterial broth effects, only human colonic epithelia exposed to C. jejuni show altered gene expression, suggesting that the human pathogen C. jejuni induces a host-specific response. The genes with altered expression are involved in growth, transcription, and steroid biosynthesis. Interestingly, human genes involved in cell polarity and water transport were significantly changed in response to C. jejuni exposure, linking infection with gastrointestinal disease. This study demonstrates that mouse and human colonic epithelia remain relatively unresponsive to commensal bacterial challenge, while the human pathogen C. jejuni elicits a host-specific response.

published proceedings

  • FEMS Microbiol Lett

author list (cited authors)

  • Rinella, E. S., Eversley, C. D., Carroll, I. M., Andrus, J. M., Threadgill, D. W., & Threadgill, D. S.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Rinella, Erica S||Eversley, Chevonne D||Carroll, Ian M||Andrus, Jason M||Threadgill, David W||Threadgill, Deborah S

publication date

  • September 2006