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Effect of organic acids on intestinal cell permeability damage caused by infection with enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)

Different organic acids and their salts, such as formic acid, Ca-formate and Na-butyrate, were screened and tested for their ability to protect intestinal cells from ETEC infection. The TEER of Caco-2 cells was unaffected by addition of 1-5mM Ca-formate, whereas it increased with 10-30mM of this organic acid. On the other hand, higher concentration of Ca-Formate (50mM) induced a TEER decrease. When Caco-2 cells were infected with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strain K88, the addtion of Ca-Formate was not able to protect the cells against TEER decrease induced by the pathogen.

Formic acid (up to 30mM) did not affect the TEER of Caco-2 cells and was able to protect cells against ETEC-induced membrane permeability increase.

Na-butyrate (up to 15mM) did not affect membrane permeability of Caco-2 cells and did not induce a TEER increase in Caco-2 cells during differentiation. On the contrary, treatment of IPEC-1 cells with Na-butyrate (2mM) during differentiation induced a significant TEER increase and an establishment of tight junction structure, indicating that this organic acid promotes differentiation of this cell line. When Caco-2 and IPEC-1 cells were infected ETEC Na-butyrate treatment was not able to protect the cells against ETEC-induced membrane damage.

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