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Open Access Characterization of the Interaction of Escherichia coli Heat-Stable Enterotoxin (STa) with its Intestinal Putative Receptor in Various Age Groups of Mice, Using Flow Cytometry and Binding Assays

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Background and Purpose: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli heat-stable enterotoxin (STa) is a major cause of diarrhea in young animals. Age-dependent variation in the density and affinity of the mouse enterocyte receptors specific for STa was investigated.

Methods: Four age groups (2-day-, 1- and 2-week-, and 2-month-old) of Swiss Webster mice were studied (8 to 10 mice/group). Flow cytometry and radiolabeled STa ( 125 I-STa) assays were used as reliable quantitative measures for characterization of STa-enterocyte receptor interaction.

Results and Conclusions: Interaction of STa with its putative receptor was stronger for enterocytes of 2day-old mice. Scatchard analysis of 125 I-STa-receptor interaction suggested that STa-receptors exist at higher numbers on enterocytes from 2-day-old (7.2 nmol/mg) than older (0.30, 0.36, and 0.40 nmol/mg for 1-week-, 2week-, and 2-month-old mice, respectively). Additionally, receptors from 2-day-old mice had greater affinity for STa (Kd = 75 nM) than did receptors from older mice (Kd = 125, 1,430, and 1,111 nM for 1-week-, 2-week-, and 2-month-old mice, respectively). Density of STa receptors on enterocytes and their affinity to STa may determine extent of binding and severity of the secretory response, and may explain the high susceptibility of newborn animals and human infants to STa-mediated diarrhea.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1999

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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