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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2017, Article ID 2748192, 13 pages
Research Article

Altered Cytokine Expression and Barrier Properties after In Vitro Infection of Porcine Epithelial Cells with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Probiotic Enterococcus faecium

1Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Oertzenweg 19b, 14163 Berlin, Germany
2Institute of Clinical Physiology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12203 Berlin, Germany
3Institute of Microbiology and Epizootics, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 7-13, 14163 Berlin, Germany
4Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Oertzenweg 19b, 14163 Berlin, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Ulrike Lodemann; ed.nilreb-uf@nnamedol.ekirlu

Received 15 July 2016; Accepted 14 March 2017; Published 21 May 2017

Academic Editor: Ulrich Eisel

Copyright © 2017 Martina Kern et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the present study was to elucidate the effects of the probiotic feed additive Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 10415 (E. faecium) on porcine jejunal epithelial cells (IPEC-J2) during an in vitro challenge with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). Cells were incubated with E. faecium, ETEC, or both, and the effects on barrier function and structure and intra- and intercellular signaling were determined. Coincubation with E. faecium abolished the ETEC-induced decrease in transepithelial resistance (Rt) (). No differences were seen in the expression levels of the intercellular connecting tight junction proteins examined. However, for the first time, a reorganization of the monolayer was observed in ETEC-infected cells but not in coincubated cells. ETEC induced an increase in cytotoxicity that was prevented by coincubation (), whereas apoptosis rates were not affected by bacterial treatment. ETEC increased the mRNA expression and release of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1α, and IL-6 which could be prevented by coincubation for TNF-α mRNA expression and IL-6 protein (). Likewise, cAMP concentrations elevated by ETEC were reduced in coincubated cells (). These findings indicate a protective effect of the probiotic E. faecium on inflammatory responses during infection with ETEC.