Tamm Horsfall glycoprotein interferes with bacterial adherence to human kidney cells

Eur J Clin Invest. 1988 Feb;18(1):87-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2362.1988.tb01171.x.


The effect of Tamm Horsfall protein (THP) of 18 healthy subjects and 14 diabetics on adherence of Escherichia coli (06:K13) 2699 strain to human kidney cells (HUK) was studied. Adhesion of bacteria (without additions: 100 bacteria per cell) was reduced dose-dependently by THP, half maximal inhibition occurring with 250 micrograms THP ml-1. Maximal inhibition (-84% at 1000 micrograms ml-1) exceeded inhibition by alpha-methyl-mannoside (36% at 50 mM), was specific (not reproduced by other glycoproteins, e.g. ovalbumin, mucin or thyroglobulin) and reversible (abolished by washing THP off HUK cells). Anti-adherence property of THP was not abolished by neuraminidase treatment. No significant difference of anti-adherence activity of THP was found between controls and diabetics, despite altered carbohydrate composition of THP in diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / drug therapy
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Mucoproteins / pharmacology*
  • Neuraminidase / pharmacology
  • Uromodulin


  • Mucoproteins
  • UMOD protein, human
  • Uromodulin
  • Neuraminidase