Neutrophil infiltration is a prominent feature of Clostridium difficile-associated enteritis and colitis. The aim of this study was to examine the importance of neutrophil recruitment and neutrophil-mediated tissue damage in C. difficile toxin A-induced enteritis. Competitive binding experiments using purified 3H-toxin A demonstrated the presence of a single class of medium affinity receptors on rabbit neutrophils (Kd 7 x 10(-8) M). Pertussis toxin and the nonhydrolyzable GTP analog GTPgamma S both inhibited 3H-toxin A binding (by 56 and 65%, respectively), indicating that the rabbit neutrophil toxin A receptor is G protein linked. Toxin A elicited a dose-dependent (25-200 micrograms/ml) stimulation of neutrophil migration in vitro, and this functional effect was also pertussis toxin sensitive (69% inhibition). Treatment of neutrophils with R15.7, a blocking monoclonal antibody to the leuocyte adhesion molecule CD18, inhibited toxin A-stimulated neutrophil migration by 85% in vitro. Pretreatment of rabbits with R15.7 also prevented neutrophil infiltration of toxin A-exposed ileal loops in vivo as determined by histologic examination and by ileal tissue myeloperoxidase levels. Furthermore, R15.7 effected a substantial inhibition of fluid secretion (by 65%), mannitol permeability (by 66%), and histologic damage in toxin A-exposed ileal loops. Anti-CD18 (R15.7) had no inhibitory effect on cholera toxin enterotoxicity. These data demonstrate that C. difficile toxin A is a proinflammatory toxin whose enterotoxic effects are substantially dependent upon neutrophil recruitment.
C P Kelly, S Becker, J K Linevsky, M A Joshi, J C O'Keane, B F Dickey, J T LaMont, C Pothoulakis
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.