Protease-Activated Receptor 2, Dipeptidyl Peptidase I, and Proteases Mediate Clostridium difficile Toxin A Enteritis

Graeme S. Cottrell, Silvia Amadesi, Stella Pikios, Eric Camerer, J. Adam Willardsen, Brett R. Murphy, George H. Caughey, Paul J. Wolters, Shaun R. Coughlin, Anders Peterson, Wolfgang Knecht, Charalabos Pothoulakis, Nigel W. Bunnett, Eileen F. Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & Aims: We studied the role of protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) and its activating enzymes, trypsins and tryptase, in Clostridium difficile toxin A (TxA)-induced enteritis. Methods: We injected TxA into ileal loops in PAR2 or dipeptidyl peptidase I (DPPI) knockout mice or in wild-type mice pretreated with tryptase inhibitors (FUT-175 or MPI-0442352) or soybean trypsin inhibitor. We examined the effect of TxA on expression and activity of PAR2 and trypsin IV messenger RNA in the ileum and cultured colonocytes. We injected activating peptide (AP), trypsins, tryptase, and p23 in wild-type mice, some pretreated with the neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist SR140333. Results: TxA increased fluid secretion, myeloperoxidase activity in fluid and tissue, and histologic damage. PAR2 deletion decreased TxA-induced ileitis, reduced luminal fluid secretion by 20%, decreased tissue and fluid myeloperoxidase by 50%, and diminished epithelial damage, edema, and neutrophil infiltration. DPPI deletion reduced secretion by 20% and fluid myeloperoxidase by 55%. In wild-type mice, FUT-175 or MPI-0442352 inhibited secretion by 24%-28% and tissue and fluid myeloperoxidase by 31%-71%. Soybean trypsin inhibitor reduced secretion to background levels and tissue myeloperoxidase by up to 50%. TxA increased expression of PAR2 and trypsin IV in enterocytes and colonocytes and caused a 2-fold increase in Ca2+ responses to PAR2 AP. AP, tryptase, and trypsin isozymes (trypsin I/II, trypsin IV, p23) caused ileitis. SR140333 prevented AP-induced ileitis. Conclusions: PAR2 and its activators are proinflammatory in TxA-induced enteritis. TxA stimulates existing PAR2 and up-regulates PAR2 and activating proteases, and PAR2 causes inflammation by neurogenic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2422-2437
Number of pages16
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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