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
The Editorial Board will only consider comments that are deemed relevant and of interest to readers. The Journal will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review; or a comment that is essentially a reiteration of another comment.