Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 12, pp 3429–3441 | Cite as

Cryptosporidium parvum alters glucose transport mechanisms in infected enterocytes

  • Cora DellingEmail author
  • Arwid Daugschies
  • Berit Bangoura
  • Franziska Dengler
Immunology and Host-Parasite Interactions - Original Paper


The parasite Cryptosporidium parvum Tyzzer 1912 destroys parts of the intestinal brush border membrane which is important for the uptake of nutrients like glucose. In this study, glucose transport mechanisms of the host cells (IPEC-J2 cells) infected by C. parvum were investigated. The mRNA expression levels of glucose transporters (GLUT) 1 and 2 and Na+-coupled glucose transporter (SGLT) 1 were compared in infected and uninfected cells over an infection time of 24–96 h by RT-qPCR. Furthermore, the protein expression of SGLT 1 and GLUT 2 was quantified in western blot studies. While the protein expression of SGLT 1 was not altered in infected cells, mRNA expression of SGLT 1 and GLUT 1 was significantly increased 24 h p. i. and decreased 96 h p. i. The mRNA expression of GLUT 2 was significantly decreased 24 h, 72 h, and 96 h p. i. and also correlated significantly with the infection dose at 72 h p. i. In contrast to that, the protein expression of GLUT 2 was significantly increased 48 h p. i., associated with a significantly higher intracellular glucose level in infected cells compared with control cells at that time point of infection. This points to an adaptation of the host cells’ glucose uptake taking place in the acute phase of the infection. A better understanding of these molecular mechanisms following a C. parvum infection may probably lead to an improvement of therapy strategies in the future.


C. parvum infection Glucose transport IPEC-J2 cells Parasite-host interaction 



The authors want to thank S. Gawlowska and I. Urbansky for excellent technical assistance.

Funding information

This study was funded by a starting grant of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Leipzig as well as the “Freundeskreis Tiermedizin der Veterinärmedizinischen Fakultät Leipzig e.V.” The Leica TCS SP8 laser scanning microscope as well as the graphic work station equipped with IMARIS 9.3 was provided by the BioImaging Core Facility, University of Leipzig.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of informed consent

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of the animals were followed. All procedures concerning the animals, which were used for the passage of the parasite, were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution (Regional Council of Saxony following German law: TierSchG, TieSchVersV; permit number: A 06/19).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2.Albrecht Daniel Thaer InstituteLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, Department of Veterinary SciencesUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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