Effect of fecal water on an in vitro model of colonic mucosal barrier function

Chris I. R. Gill, Patricia Heavey, Eileen McConville, Ian Bradbury, Caroline Faessler, Susanne Mueller, Alberto Cresci, Joel Dore, Elisabeth Norin, Ian Rowland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Fecal water (FW) has been shown to exert, in cultured cells, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects that have implications for colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. We have investigated a further biological activity of FW, namely, the ability to affect gap junctions in CACO2 cell monolayers as an index of mucosal barrier function, which is known to be disrupted in cancer. FW samples fi-om healthy, free-living, European subjects that were divided into two broad age groups, adult (40 +/- 9.7 yr; n = 53) and elderly (76 +/- 7.5 yr; n = 55) were tested for effects on gap junction using the transepithelial resistance (TER) assay. Overall, treatment of CACO2 cells with FW samples fi-om adults increased TER (+ 4 %), whereas FW from elderly subjects decreased TER (-5%); the difference between the two groups was significant (P < 0.05). We also measured several components of FW potentially associated with modulation of TER, namely, short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) and ammonia. SCFAs (propionic, acetic, and n-butyric) were significantly lower in the elderly population (-30%, -35%, and -21%, respectively, all P pound 0.01). We consider that FW modulation of in vitro epithelial barrier function is a potentially useful noninvasive biomarker, but it requires further validation to establish its relationship to CRC risk.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-65
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2007


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