The role of lipopolysaccharide and Shiga-like toxin in a mouse model of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection

J Infect Dis. 1997 Mar;175(3):611-20. doi: 10.1093/infdis/175.3.611.


The role of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Shiga-like toxin (SLT) in the pathogenesis of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) was studied in a mouse model. Mice inoculated intragastrically with Escherichia coli O157:H7 developed gastrointestinal, neurologic, and systemic symptoms, necrotic foci in the colon, glomerular and tubular histopathology, and fragmented erythrocytes. LPS-responder (C3H/HeN) mice developed a combination of neurologic and systemic symptoms, whereas LPS-nonresponder (C3H/HeJ) mice had a biphasic course of disease, first developing systemic symptoms and later severe neurologic symptoms. Mice inoculated with SLT-II-positive strains developed severe neurotoxic symptoms and a higher frequency of systemic symptoms and glomerular pathology compared with SLT-II-negative strains. Anti-SLT-II antibodies protected against these symptoms and pathology. These results demonstrate that this model could be used to study aspects of human HUS and that both LPS and SLT are important for disease development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / toxicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Escherichia coli Infections / physiopathology*
  • Escherichia coli O157 / pathogenicity*
  • Female
  • Hemolysis
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / microbiology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Shiga Toxin 2


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Shiga Toxin 2