Coculture with Low-Dose SWCNT Attenuates Bacterial Invasion and Inflammation in Human Enterocyte-like Caco-2 Cells

Hanqing Chen, Bing Wang, Ruifang Zhao, Di Gao, Ming Guan, Lingna Zheng, Xiaoyan Zhou, Zhifang Chai, Yuliang Zhao, Weiyue Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) have been shown to be highly effective against a wide range of bacteria. Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infection is a well-known mediator to prolong hospitalization and initiate chronic inflammation, yet the biological effects of SWCNTs on the pathogen-infected enterocytes remain unclear. Herein, it is shown that the low-dose SWCNT treatment attenuates the human enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells from the damage of E. coli and S. aureus infection by suppressing NLRP3 inflammasome activation. The relatively low-dose (1 and 10 μg mL-1) SWCNT treatments reduce the adhesion and invasion of E. coli and S. aureus to Caco-2 cells, increase the cell viability and proliferation, reduce the tight junction permeability, and restitute the integrity of cell surface microvilli structure, meanwhile has low cytotoxicity to the host cells. The low-dose SWCNT treatment further reduces the NLRP3-mediated IL-1β secretion in the infected cells. The results identify that a low-dose SWCNT treatment serves a protective function for the E. coli- and S. aureus-infected Caco-2 cells by negatively regulating mitochondrial reactive oxygen species-mediated NLRP3 inflammasome activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4366-4378
Number of pages13
Issue number34
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Caco-2 cells
  • NLRP3 inflammasome
  • SWCNT treatments
  • SWCNTs
  • bacterial infections
  • bacterial invasions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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