Human Immune Response Triggered by Entamoeba histolytica in a 3D-Intestinal Model

Conference paper


Entamoeba histolytica, the agent of amoebiasis, colonizes the human colon and can invade the lining of the colon to disseminate in the deep layers of the intestine. Amoebiasis mainly affects poor people in developing countries, where the barriers between human feces and food or water are inadequate. Humans are the only reservoir of E. histolytica and are the sole target organism of the development of the disease, which limits our knowledge of the crosstalk between the colon and the parasite, especially during the acute phase of infection. In the present work, we constructed an in vitro model of intestinal epithelium that includes an immune component to mimic the immune response against pathogenic microorganisms such as E. histolytica. Using this model and leading-edge technologies, including tissue and cell imaging, transcriptomics, proteomics and ELISA, we investigated the early stages of amoebic infection, in particular, the early immune response. The data obtained highlight the importance of several previously showed virulence markers in patients and experimental models. In addition, we underscored the involvement of other factors that appear to be key regulators of gene expression in the cellular stress responses against amoebiasis and we found novel regulatory mechanisms used by this parasite to modulate the immune response and survive within the human intestine.


Entamoeba histolytica 3D-intestinal model Cytokines Mucin Transcriptomics  Proteomics 





Extracellular matrix




Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha






Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate


Tight junctions


Adherence junctions


Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate


Mucin 2


Nuclear factor-kβ


Amoebic cysteine protease A5


Activating protein-1




Macrophage-colony stimulating factor


Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay


Pathogen-associated molecular patterns

LC-MS/MS proteomics

Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry


Phosphoinositide 3-kinase


Surface amoebic protein




Macrophage migration inhibitory factor


Second Harmonic Generation signal



The authors gratefully acknowledge Professor Jost Enninga from the Dynamics of Host Pathogen Interactions Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, for his kind supply of the cell lines, Caco-2/TC7 and HT29-MTX. Special thanks are due to Maria Manich, BIA Unit-Institut Pasteur, for her support in laboratory organization. The authors express their gratitude to all members of Icy software group from BIA Unit-Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, for their help in image analysis. We acknowledge the generous support of “DIM Ile de France” for the support in the acquisition of the two-photon microscope.


The project has received funding from the European ERA-NET Infect-ERA program AMOEBAC (French National Agency for Research (ANR) grants ANR-14-IFEC-0001-01 and ANR-14-IFEC-0001-02). Biomics Platform (Institute Pasteur) is supported by France Génomique (ANR-10-INBS-09-09) and IBISA. AAR is a recipient of Research Career Development Awards from Fundación-IMSS, México. SCC received a postdoctoral fellowship with number 173697 from the program S190-Conacyt, 2017, Mexico.

Conflict of Interest

All the authors declare no potential conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Pasteur, Bioimage Analysis UnitParisFrance
  2. 2.Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México, Colegio de Ciencias y HumanidadesCiudad de MéxicoMexico
  3. 3.Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Unidad de Investigación Médica en Medicina ReproductivaCiudad de MéxicoMexico
  4. 4.Institut Pasteur, Unité de Spectrométrie de Masse pour la Biologie (MSBio), Plateforme Protéomique, Centre de Ressources et Recherches Technologiques (C2RT), USR 2000 CNRSParisFrance
  5. 5.Institut Pasteur, Plateforme Transcriptome et EpiGenome, Biomics, Centre de Ressources et Recherches Technologiques (C2RT)ParisFrance
  6. 6.Institut Pasteur, Département de Biologie Computationnelle (USR 3756 IP CNRS), Hub Bioinformatique et BiostatistiqueParisFrance
  7. 7.Institut Pasteur, UTechS PBI, Centre de Ressources et Recherches Technologiques (C2RT)ParisFrance
  8. 8.Institut Pasteur, Experimental Neuropathology UnitParisFrance
  9. 9.Institut Pasteur, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-ERL9195ParisFrance

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